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Texas Supreme Court Upholds ‘pole Tax’

AUSTIN, Texas, Aug. 26 (UPI) — The Texas Supreme Court Friday upheld a state law that charges $5 per customer at nude dancing establishments that serve alcohol — the so-called pole tax.

The unanimous ruling validated the 2007 Sexually Oriented Business Fee Act, overturning a ruling by the 3rd Court of Appeals, which found the fee unconstitutional based on protected free speech, the Austin American-Statesman reported.

“We think a $5 fee presents no greater burden on nude dancing,” Justice Nathan Hecht wrote in the opinion. “The fee is not a tax on unpopular speech but a restriction on combining nude dancing, which unquestionably has secondary effects, with the aggravating influence of alcohol consumption.”

The ruling sends the case back to Travis County District Court to determine if the “pole tax” violates the state constitution.

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