Strip club 'pole tax' in hands of Texas high court - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Strip club 'pole tax' in hands of Texas high court

SAN ANTONIO (AP) -- The Texas Supreme Court is deciding whether to strip away a $5 entrance fee to watch nude dancers.

The court heard arguments Thursday about whether the so-called pole tax, a fee mandated by lawmakers in 2007, is unconstitutional.

Texas has so far collected more than $13.6 million from the fee. But many clubs have ignored the law, which is intended to fund programs for sexual assault victims.

The Texas Entertainment Association, which represents strip clubs across the state, sued to block the fee. Lower courts have sided with the clubs.

Justices questioned both sides at length. Talk about strippers engaging in free expression was balanced by rebuttals about tax and zoning precedents. It will likely be months before the Supreme Court rules.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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