The Houston City Council has passed a new tax on 14-1 vote that would charge strip club patrons a $5 per visitor "pole tax." The tax was supported by Mayor Annise Parker and is expected to raise $3 million per year. Houston plans to use the funds to process a backlog of 6,000 unprocessed rape kits.
Rape kits cost as much as $1,200 to process. Houston believes strip clubs should help pay for rape investigations because adult entertainment establishments foster an environment leads to sexual assaults and violence against women.
Strip clubs bristle at this suggestion, and strip club patrons aren't likely to welcome being equated to rapists.
Texas passed a state law in 2007 that already imposes a $5 per-visitor "pole tax," so the "pole tax" is now effectively doubled for Houston strip club patrons.