Vice Squad
Sunday, April 10, 2005
The Business That Wants to be Taxed

Legal brothels in Nevada pay substantial license fees to the counties in which they are located, and the prostitutes also pay $50 annually for a work permit. But the brothels do not pay any taxes to the state of Nevada. Some of them would like to, and a state legislator who is anti-legal-prostitution would like to help them. Politics and bedfellows, indeed.

The reason why some brothel owners would be happy to be taxed is because they recognize that the continued existence of their business is hostage to the good graces of state legislators. (Incidentally, replace 'state legislators' with 'mayor and local alderman,' and you have the situation that every business faces in Chicago.) From the linked Salt Lake Tribune article:
''We should have the same rights as any other business, but I also am a realist,'' said Bobbi Davis, owner of the Shady Lady Ranch, a brothel about 120 miles outside Las Vegas. ''And I think this tax thing is also a way to go. There's a price, sometimes, for legitimacy.''
Sounds reasonable to me -- brothels became legal in Nevada because of 'voluntary' fees paid to Storey County.

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