In yet another ploy to increase Philly revenue streams through taxing human vices, Mayor Mike Nutter and his cronies are looking to collect on a "Lap Dance Tax." Their argument is that lap dances at strip clubs fall under the already-taxed "amusement" label, while the dancers consider them to be "performance art." If the city wins, they're going to stick three of Philly's largest gentlemen's club with a $1.5 million bill, payable immediately. This new tax joins a list that includes: soda, cocktails, and cigarettes. All things that help us forget just how much wage tax Philly imposes on the working man and woman.
The club operators argue that this new tax would be a double dip for the entertainment tax, which has already been paid for when patrons fork over the entrance fee to these gentlemen's clubs, which are also taxed on liquor and food. The dancers—who are considered independent contractors—keep 75% of the lap dance fee, while they pay out $15 per shift for a performance fee, and, yes, $1 for the pole tax (which hopefully goes to upkeep and cleaning of said pole).
The debate rages on as you read this, and hearings have begun. But, both sides have a point, and the outcome is not a slam dunk for either camp. While Eater Philly believes that creative thinking is absolutely necessary to help dig our lovely town out of this financial hole, local goverment needs to think outside the Box of Human Weakness to make it happen.
We suggest taxing colonoscopies or kitty litter, because after 50 everyone needs a scoping and cat people will pay any amount of money for cat things. Leave your suggestions on what you think we should tax in the comments below.