Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Every 76 Seconds, Lovin' Happens In Nevada!

As I expected from my reporting in The New York Times in January, State Sen. Bob Coffin has introduced a bill this week to tax legal prostitution in Nevada. The state has inserted itself in a massive budget hole and Coffin hopes Nevada can lick up some bits and pieces from a business that hasn't had to come up with any dough for all these years. The lovelies shown here are just some of the wares at the Moonlite Bunny Ranch, by the by.

What's interesting here are Coffin's numbers. He estimates that taxing each legally sold sex act $5, the state could raise $2 million a year. That's 400,000 legally sold sex acts sold per year, or about 1,096 a day. Also, 45 an hour! A legally sold sex act is occurring in this state every 76 seconds!

That does seem high, doesn't it? I mean, there are only 225 licensed legal prostitutes in the state. They'd have to be awful busy. But I suppose it also brings up what the definition of a sex act is. I mean -- hide the kiddies -- if fellatio and intercourse occur in the same encounter, is that two acts? Is the prostitute running a mental tally in her head to figure out how much tax to, uh, assess?

Gov. Jim Gibbons reacted to SB369 by telling the Associated Press' Brendan Riley, "I'm not a supporter of legalizing prostitution in Nevada. So by taxing it, there's a recognition of the legality of it. And that's all I want to say."

Um, but it IS legal. I'd like to not pay my speeding tickets and not recognize the legality of speeding limits, but that's not working out so well for me or my auto insurance bill.

The governor's missionary-inspired (he's a Mormon!) position isn't really that relevant anyway because any tax would have to be approved by a supermajority of the Legislature, which means that it's also a veto-proof majority. And Coffin's bill isn't likely to pass anyway; as I wrote in January, both the House speaker and state Senate majority leader oppose it.

Still, the hearings could be very colorful, particularly when lawmakers must answer some of the questions I've posed here.


Troy in Las Vegas said...

Or are the numbers inflated / twisted and the reporting usual?