Taxing the Sex Industry

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Need to pay off a deficit? One country is going after a guilty pleasure.

The sexually repressed citizens of Dortmund, located in western Germany are going to have to dig a little deeper in their pockets for some special company. Facing a $133 million deficit city officials have introduced a day tax on their prostitutes. Dubbed the “pleasure tax” the new legislation requires prostitutes to purchase a day ticket for each day they work or face a fine.

The city estimates that these day tickets will bring in about one million U.S. dollars a year. The new tax has been in effect for a couple of weeks and city official Michael Meinders says this tax seemed the most practical out of everything suggested. An alternative idea was to charge a one or two euro fee to anyone entering the red light district, but the idea received little political support. Meinders says taxing the sex industry is a common practice in Germany because prostitution is legal so workers, even those that are part time, must pay tax on their income. And with the workers being taxed more, prices will go up. Good thing they have such loyal customers.