Brothels to Nevada: Tax Us, Please
Brothel owners see taxes as insurance to keep them legal
By Peter Fearon,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 26, 2009 3:16 AM CST
Brothel owner Dennis Hof with some of his "working girls" in his Moonlite Bunny Ranch, featured in the television show 'Cathouse.'   (AP Photo/Reno Gazette-Journal, Lisa J. Tolda)
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(Newser) – Nevada's brothel owners are offering to fork over tax money to the state to help cover its debts—but legislators are reluctant to increase the state's involvement in the $50-million-a-year sex business, reports the New York Times. Nevada's 25 legal brothels pay hefty taxes to their home counties, but are currently only charged a $100 license fee by the state. Some owners see the taxes as protection against any future attempts to challenge their legal status.

“Anytime you’re going to take tax money, the state’s not going to view you as a relic and put you out of business,” said a lobbyist for the Nevada Brothel Association. But "we can't even get a hearing."  Some legislators worry that a stronger relationship with the state may increase controversy—or lead to pressure for more brothels. Brothels are currently legal only in less populous counties, which bars them from communities like Las Vegas.