Today's award goes to Nevada State Senator Bob Coffin for his latest proposal - to tax prostitution (which is legal in Nevada). According to the Las Vegas Sun:
Sen. Bob Coffin, D-Las Vegas, proposed a tax on prostitution today that he says could raise $2 million a year for the state.
Patrons of prostitutes — both legal and illegal — would pay an extra $5 tax per session under the bill, which Coffin said was his idea alone.
. . .
Coffin said he had considered applying the state’s live entertainment tax to prostitution, but encountered some constitutional questions.
Information received by the state Department of Taxation in collecting the proposed tax would be confidential, he said. The department could publish how much it took in, so long as it didn’t identify an individual business.
Part of the receipts would be used to finance an “ombudsman for sex workers” who would help prostitutes who have complaints or want to leave prostitution and enter another profession.
Asked how the state could collect the tax from the independent street walkers, Coffin said that the business tax, when first imposed, wasn’t collected from all of those who were required to pay it.
More at the link.
A few questions for the good Senator:
- Is the tax per 'booking', or per act? Do multiple sex acts during a single booking qualify for a further tax? Would that be a luxury tax, an excess tax, or a nuisance tax?
- Just how do you propose to ascertain how many 'bookings' or sex acts a given prostitute or brothel has undertaken, in order to tax them? Will you hire inspectors to police the transactions? I foresee an avalanche of job-seekers . . .
- What if the customer isn't satisfied, and demands a refund? Will this be a case of 'no deposit, no (tax) return'?
- What about those requiring artificial assistance to cope with the demand, so to speak? Will Viagra, Cialis and Levitra become deductible expenses for the purpose of this tax?
- What will you call this new tax? I suggest adapting an ancient name, that of the poll tax, and - in honor of the portion of anatomy concerned - christening this one the 'pole tax'.