Illinois legislation just doesn’t learn from its mistakes. They have spent decades making the State of Illinois unfriendly to high-paying manufacturing jobs to the point - that companies still considering US locations, like Caterpillar Inc, for building industrial plants turn and run the other direction. So the State has had to begin to rely on tourist and entertainment venues to replace the lost income. Traditionally those industries do not offer workers as lucrative salaries as the manufacturing jobs they are replacing. That means less money for the workers and less income tax revenues for the State. So you would think the State would be seeking to avoid over taxation of those industries, especially the few that pay their workers on a scale similar to those industries that the State has run off. Nope, My Bad, this is Illinois where our State legislators looks to milk every nickle and penny possible from any industry fool enough to locate inside the State.
In a a legislative treasure hunt -hidden inside a worthy cause- Illinois State Senator Toi Hutchinson seeks to add a $5 per customer pole (vice) tax to strip clubs around the state, to help fund rape crisis centers and other sexual assault assistance organizations. She stated that her reasoning for singling out strip clubs was: “If you’re going to sell sex and alcohol, then bad things sometimes happen, I’m hopeful they’ll work with me to take some of the stink off their name.” Bad things happen. Why yes they do. However strip clubs are just one of many entertainment sources that promote sex and/or alcohol. But that is hardly a reason to identify Strip Clubs as the source to dam a river of human evils created by numerous tributaries. Perhaps she should start adding a $5 per person vice tax to stores that sell Playboy, Hustler, Penthouse and a host of other adult oriented magazines. Those tend to get heavily sexually graphic and suggestive. Most, also contain stories intended to stir-up the human libido. Since I mentioned stories -why is she neglecting bookstores and libraries across the State from this tax. Many of he books in both institutions contain sexually graphic material, some also contain sexually violent content. And don’t forget lets hit all stores that sell or rent mainstream movie videos rated above a “G” rating with that vice tax. Movies and their ratings have evolved to the point – where sexually charged material can even be seen in movies suggested for kids under 17. And many “R” rated movies have reached the point where in past years they would have been slapped with an “X” rating, now changed to a more PC title of “NC17″. Two easily come to mind. One, the highly touted Tom Cruise movie -Eyes Wide Shut- which was filled with Bondage/Sadomasochism references as well as hints of Snuff material. A more recent sexually charged movie release was the acclaimed Natalie Portman/Mila Kunis movie, named Black Swan. The psychological thriller was filled with a battle for a dancers soul between repressed sexual behavior versus hedonistic behavior. The movie contains a very explicit lesbian scene between Portman amd Kunis. Yet I have yet to hear Hutchinson call for a vice taxon theaters and stores that offer up the movie to the public.
Hutchinson went on to lament, well this is all about protecting women. Okay. But protecting women from what? There is nothing anymore sexually charging that happens in a strip club that you will not find with similar intent in any of the venues I mentioned. The what is the vice tax really about? It is about what all taxes are about – the government getting their hands on more money. It is about a possible 44 million dollars that state could get their hands on by taxing the industry. An industry that already makes big bucks for the State treasury through taxes and an industry where the workers actually make a better than average living wage. And if the tax were to be applied evenly it might even be salable as do-gooder intended. But the tax is explicitly aimed at one adult industry; an industry that is easy to attack because of the sex stigmas that surround it. A stigma that is also a part of every other venue I mentioned. And though Hutchinson hints it is really all about providing services for abused women; knowing past Illinois history, we all know that is a pile of Bullcrap! Just like with the profits from the Illinois Lottery -which was sold as a way to rebuild Illinois Schools- the revenue from any vice tax would be placed into the general funds where legislator thugs would spend-spend-spend on their pet pork projects while the organizations needing the money would still be begging for the funds that were diverted away from their intended sources. Sadly, spin-spin-spin, next take-take-take then spend-spend-spend is the Illinois way.
- Illinois Plans $5 Skin Tax For Strip Clubs, Owners In An Uproar (inquisitr.com)
- Lawmaker Calls For $5 Tax On All Strip Club Admissions (chicago.cbslocal.com)
- House Republicans Seek To Bar Use Of Welfare Money At Strip Clubs (outsidethebeltway.com)
- Strip Club Owner To Nuns: Don’t Judge Us (chicago.cbslocal.com)
- House Votes On ‘Strip Club Loophole’ (huffingtonpost.com)
- The Pole Tax and Mandate Politics (hotair.com)