House Backs Strip-Club Tax

You may be adding 10% to your strip-club budget soon

The fight between rival tax bills by Houston Democrats on alcohol-serving strip clubs – the infamous "titty tax" – seems to be ending as a winner emerges. While the $3-per-head surcharge in Rep. Ellen Cohen's House Bill 2070 got a rough ride in House Ways & Means on April 1 and was left pending, the next day the 10% admissions tax in Rep. Senfronia Thompson's HB 982 flew through the House 141-1. (The sole "nay" vote was Rep. Brandon Creighton, R-Conroe.) HB 2070 revokes Cohen's existing $5 surcharge because, as Thompson told legislators, it has been judged unconstitutional in district court. ("For some reason, the state skips past this in lots of their argument," Stewart Whitehead, attorney for strip-club industry group the Texas Entertainment Association, commented in his testimony to Ways & Means.) Current estimates place the revenue from Thompson's tax at $6 million and $8 million a year, to be split between schools and sexual-abuse programs.

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KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

titty tax, Ellen Cohen, Senfronia Thompson, Brandon Creighton, Texas Entertainment Association, 81st Legislature

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