Nevada lawmakers on Thursday defeated a proposed prostitution tax that had won support from brothel owners and working ladies willing to do their part to ease the state's $3 billion budget crisis.
Nevada, one of only two U.S. states that allow some prostitution, is reeling from a deep economic recession that has led to high numbers of foreclosures, dwindling tourism revenues and a gaping budget shortfall.
State Senator Bob Coffin, a Democrat, proposed levying a $5-per-customer service tax on patrons of some 20 legal brothels operating in rural Nevada, all of them outside Las Vegas and surrounding Clark County, where prostitution remains outlawed.
But a sharply divided Nevada state Senate committee voted 4-3 Thursday to kill the tax, which Coffin said would have raised an estimated $2 million a year.
The political argument behind it all is actually the most intersting part of the whole thing. For what is really going on is that the lawmakers want to make prostitution illegal in Nevada. So they voted against taxing it so that they weren't seen to be making it legitimate.
On the other side, the brothels actually want to be taxed so as to legitimise them....even though they are already legal.
Odd situation, eh?