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Texas Supreme Court Upholds the "Pole Tax"

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Texas's highest court rules that the $5-per-person tax charged to strip club patrons is constitutional.

The Texas Supreme Court has ruled unanimously that the state can continue to charge the so-called "pole tax," a $5 per patron tax at strip clubs. 

A lower court had ruled that the tax violated the constitutional right to free speech. But in an opinion issued August 25, the Supreme Court said the tax did not present a burden on speech.

Delivering the opinion Justice Nathan L. Hecht wrote:

The $5 fee fee is a minimal restriction on the business, so small  that respondents argue it is ineffective. And the business that seeks to avoid the fee need only offer nude entertainment without allowing alcohol to be consumed.

The "pole tax" was enacted by Texas lawmakers in 2007. You can read the full Texas Supreme Court opinion here.