(from Oct 12, 2010)
It sounds like the State of Utah has decided that if you can’t beat ’em, you might as well at least join ’em in making a sizable chunk of money off of adult oriented business enterprises.
In any event, the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS), won’t be stopping the Utah legislature from being able to enact a somewhat onerous sin tax on adult oriented businesses, under the guise of providing the state with funds for the treatment of sex offenders.
The group of strip club owners behind the Supreme Court appeal of the 2004 tax initiative by the Utah Legislature, claimed it was overly broad, in both its definition and reach, as well as being an unconstitutional violation of their First Amendment rights.
In refusing to hear the case, the Supreme Court of the United States has let stand an earlier decision by the Utah Supreme Court, that upheld the move by the Utah Legislature, to enact a 10% tax – across the board – on any income generated by a sexually oriented business. That includes peanuts, popcorn, and, presumably, lap dances.
The Utah Supreme Court had already ruled that taxing sexually explicit businesses was not a violation of anybody’s First Amendment rights.
However, I don’t think this whole issue has been completely put to bed — just yet.
In refusing to hear the case, the SCOTUS hasn’t actually made a determination as to the validity of the presumed connection here – that sexually explicit businesses (which is itself overly broad), have any more of a direct bearing on the acts of sexual offenders, than TV, movies, pornography, or, for that matter, the effects of sexual anger and the sexual repression more often induced by the sexual shaming of religious teachings, in both the home and the church pew.