CARSON CITY, Nev. " Sen. Bob Coffin, D-Las Vegas, Monday introduced legislation to create an excise tax on the use of prostitutes.
The tax in SB369 would not be on the earnings of the prostitute but $5 levied on the patron for use of the prostitute's services.
Coffin said it's obvious the tax would be primarily levied on licensed brothels. But he said the bill isn't limited to them.
"It's for everybody," he said.
While the bill gives the Taxation Department the authority to examine the books kept for or by sex workers, neither Coffin nor the language in the bill explains how they would track down those people who aren't managers of a legal and licensed brothel.
It says that the state can make an agreement with county fair and recreation officials, commissioners or city officials to exchange information that can identify potential taxpayers.
Coffin said there would be no pressure on taxation officials to enforce the tax on the streets.
He said George Flynt, lobbyist for the legal brothel industry, has offered in the past to have brothels pay a tax to the state.
"I'm taking them up on it," said Coffin.
Coffin said the bill contains other provisions beyond the tax, primarily creation of an Ombudsman for Sex Workers within the Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation.
"The ladies doing this illegally need to be able to access the ombudsman," he said pointing out they have nowhere to go for help because their business is a crime.
"An excise tax is hereby imposed on each patron who uses the prostitution services of a prostitute in the amount of $5 for each calendar day or portion thereof that the patron uses the prostitution services of that prostitute," the bill states.
It directs the prostitute to either collect the tax from each patron or pay it herself, fill out a quarterly form on her activities and pay the department the money owed.