SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (IRN) – The Illinois House approved a proposal that would tax strip clubs that serve alcohol to pay for sexual violence counseling.
It’s a stripped down version of the original proposal earlier this year. Strip clubs could choose to collect three dollars per customer or pay an annual flat tax.
State Representative Patty Bellock (R-Hinsdale) says rape crisis centers have been the victims of budget cuts during the recession. “The money for rape crisis centers has been cut down and this money from this fund will help that,” Bellock says. “So you are helping the women of Illinois on an extremely serious subject of rape.”
Opponents say the tax is unfair and question the correlation between strip clubs and sexual violence.
State Rep. Richard Morthland (R-Moline) says the tax may mean less money for the dancers and if they don’t meet their tip quotas then, “they will be penalized,” Morthland says. “The method of penalization is [assigning the dancers to] work in what is called the V.I.P room. Where there is no oversight. Where there is prostitution. Where there is rape.”
The proposal awaits the governor’s signature.
Copyright Illinois Radio Network