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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

In mood for a lap dance? Bring an extra buck



Pole_dancer_3 Checking out some skin may get a little more expensive.

Rep. Rick Kriseman, D-St. Petersburg, is proposing a $1 tax on admissions to strip clubs, escort services and other "adult entertainment services" to boost the monthly personal allowance for low-income nursing home residents.

Kriseman's original bill would have extended sales tax to strip club admissions but -- whoops -- that already occurs. Tampa strip club king Joe Redner pointed out that to The Buzz, which confirmed with the Department of Revenue then pointed it out to Krieseman's staff.

After some scrambling, Kriseman now says he wants to add a $1 excise tax. Sen. Ronda Storms, R-Brandon, has sponsored idential legislation, though it too will have to be reworked.

"I'm sorry if I've taken a dollar that you would have otherwise stuck in someone's garter," Kriseman said. He got the idea after an elderly constituent complained that a $35 monthly Medicaid stipend was not enough to cover personal needs. The bill aims to increase that to $70.

Cognizant of a tough budget year, Krieseman knew he would have to find a revenue source. So he asked his staff to investigate.

But focusing in on adult entertainment may not have universal appeal.

"Everyone I mention it to has one word for it: Stupid," scoffed Redner, whose Mons Venus club carries a $20 admission.

"Just little bit of basic research let’s you know you can’t isolate one business and tax it to benefit something else," he added. "It's a noble cause. Old people should have some money. But they should get it from everybody, not just us."

Redner said he paid the state $256,000 in sales tax last year.

Texas this year imposed a $5 "pole tax." It is being challenged in court.

[Last modified: Wednesday, September 15, 2010 1:09pm]


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