Coffin Proposes Prostitution Tax

CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) - A key state lawmaker has proposed a $5 tax on acts of prostitution in Nevada, where brothels operate legally in some areas, and a counseling agency for sex workers that would be funded by part of the tax revenue.

Senate Taxation Chairman Bob Coffin, D-Las Vegas, says the state is "desperate to find money for essential government services," and he "will go anywhere to do that." By his estimate, the tax would raise at least $2 million a year from sex acts in the legal bordellos.

Coffin said the idea of getting taxes from the brothel business has been discussed for years but was rejected because "people weren't willing to get their hands dirty" - even though the legal brothels volunteered to be taxed.

Coffin's plan, introduced as SB369 by his Senate Taxation Committee, would apply to both illegal and legal prostitution, although it wasn't immediately clear how the illegal activity would be tracked for tax purposes.

With the 25 legal brothels, which operate in outlying areas, the levy could be paid either by patrons of the prostitutes, the sex workers or their employers.

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