A new $5 sin tax on Houston strip clubs will help finance the city’s backlog of some 4,000 to 6,000 rape kits that have gone untested.
According to a federal bill introduced in Congress last month, the national backlog of untested rape kits has reached 400,000.
The tax, dubbed the “pole tax,” was promoted by city council member Ellen Cohen, passed earlier this week in a 14-1 vote. It could generate up to $3 million for the city.
Supporters of the bill say that strip clubs should bear the brunt of the tax since their establishments can have unhealthy attitudes toward women and sexual violence.The tax will be implemented during the next two weeks.
Before tackling untested rape kits, Cohen helped move legislation that placed a $5 fee on “sexual-oriented businesses” when she was a state legislator in 2007. The proceeds go to victims of sexual abuse in the state.