Original Titty-Tax Bill Loses Bounce

A rival bill emerges to tax sexually oriented businesses

House Bill 2070, the latest attempt by Rep. Ellen Cohen, D-Houston, to reform the so-called "titty tax," was scheduled for its first public hearing in the House Ways & Means Committee on April 1. But it's already lagging behind a rival bill (see "Staying Abreast of Tax Debate," March 13) by fellow Houston Democrat Rep. Senfronia Thompson, which would scrap the current $5 per customer surcharge on sexually oriented businesses and impose a 10% tax on admissions instead. Thompson's HB 982 sped through House Licensing & Administrative Procedures on March 18 and is now with the Calendars Committee. Both bills would provide funds for the Sexual Assault Program Fund, although Thompson's would send a fourth of the revenues to the Foundation School Fund. Cohen's staff claims her bill will produce $18 million a year; Thompson's office is still unsure how much her proposed tax would generate – and because the old surcharge is still in the courts, the Legislative Budget Board could not provide an estimate. However, the Texas Enter­tain­ment Association (the strip-joint trade group) has said it will not oppose Thompson's bill, whereas Cohen's could face another decade in litigation, freezing any taxes collected.

AC Daily, Events and Promotions, Luvdoc Answers

Breaking news, recommended events, and more

Official Chronicle events, promotions, and giveaways

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)