Mar 11, 2009 5 Comments ›› Pat Dollard
By BRENDAN SCOTT
ALBANY – Call it an un-cover charge.
A Brooklyn assemblyman introduced a bill yesterday that would require patrons to pay the state $10 every time they visit a strip club or topless joint.
Felix Ortiz, a Democrat, said the flesh fee could raise as much as $500 million for victims of human trafficking, domestic violence, sexual abuse and child prostitution.
States have increasingly turned to the adult-entertainment industry to help close budget gaps in recent years.
Texas lawmakers are fighting to save a similar $5 “pole tax,” which was struck down as unconstitutional by a state judge.
Gov. Paterson, facing a $14 billion budget deficit, has proposed a tax on Internet downloads that would also apply to Web porn.
“The bottom line is, we have to protect people who have been victimized by unscrupulous individuals, and we cannot continue, especially in this economy, to have government pay for everything,” Ortiz said.