High Court Approves "Pole Tax" on Strip Clubs

The Texas Supreme Court has unanimously ruled that a $5-per-patron tax on strips clubs does not violate the First Amendment, adding the latest chapter to a four-year legal battle. 

After the 2007 Legislature passed the law known as the Sexually Oriented Business Fee Act — or the "pole tax" in the vernacular — strip club owners challenged the fee in court. They argued it violated their freedom of expression under the First Amendment.

But the court today disagreed, saying that the fee was directed not at the expression of nude dancing, but at the "secondary effects of nude dancing when alcohol is ...

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