Last spring, The Lodge made a big show of presenting the state with a big check that's been sitting in escrow ever since.
Last spring, The Lodge made a big show of presenting the state with a big check that's been sitting in escrow ever since.

"Pole Tax" Dances Into Texas Supreme Court

As you no doubt recall, the state of Texas has been trying for years to find a way to make its so-called "pole tax" stick. The first time around, a judge slapped down the $5-per-gentleman's-club-customer fee -- which was earmarked for sexual assault prevention programs -- as unconstitutional; last year's second spin -- which taxed a percentage of topless joints' admission fees -- was likewise tied up in litigation, and the $12 million raised so far is in an account waiting for the outcome of the case. State Sen. Royce West didn't like it anyway: "Sexually oriented businesses can wire around this by not charging an admission fee."

But as the Houston Chronicle reported over the weekend, a resolution's due sooner than later: The case of the pole tax is going before the Texas Supreme Court in March. State legislators still want to see the tax levied. But a former Harris County prosecutor says this is really a tax on free speech. And with that, the quote of the week: "You start down a pathway that could lead to censorship-based government like that which exists in Iran."

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