Should the Government Collect Taxes from Prostitution?



PRO (yes)

Dennis Hof, Nevada brothel owner, in a Mar. 20, 2017 article for lasvegassun.com titled "Q+A: Dennis Hof: This Pimp Wants to End Sex Trafficking," wrote:

"[Prostitution is] a multimillion-dollar-a-year business in Las Vegas, and nobody gets any taxes off of it... The city and the county could probably make about $25 million a year in taxes off of legalized prostitution...

Right now they spend a lot of money policing vice. Why not eliminate that and turn it into a revenue maker, instead of having to pay to police it? Once you legalize it, you're going to take out most of the illegal prostitution...

If a consumer has a choice between a legal place of business and an illegal criminal operation, he's going to go to the legal place. That's because he knows there's no problems waiting to happen there."

Mar. 20, 2017 - Dennis Hof 



The Baltimore Examiner wrote the Oct. 26, 2006 editorial "Legalize Prostitution For Sake of Women" that said:

"If history can serve as a guide, shame will not stop the profession. Because of that, the better solution would be to legalize prostitution as in parts of Nevada and the Netherlands - and tax the proceeds like any other business. That way the government could use the money to pay for programs to help women find a path out of it."

Oct. 26, 2006 - Baltimore Examiner 



Heidi Fleiss, former madam, in the Sep.-Oct. 2003 Legal Affairs article "In Defense of Prostitution," wrote:

"There is no downside to legalizing prostitution. The government would benefit by collecting taxes on the industry. And regulation would clean up a lot of crime and help to protect women."

Sep.-Oct. 2003 - Heidi Fleiss 



Vaclav Maly, Auxiliary Bishop of Prague, on May 4, 2002 was quoted on Radio Prague as having said:

"I am not making a moral judgment here. I see prostitution as a reality of the modern world. The chances of eliminating it are practically nil. Under those circumstances it is better to keep it in check and under control by giving it a legal framework. This is not to say that I approve of brothels - but it seems to me that it would be better to have prostitution take place there - with medical check-ups and prostitutes paying taxes. It would be the lesser of two evils."

May 2002 - Vaclav Maly 



The International Committee for Prostitutes' Rights (ICPR), wrote the "World Charter For Prostitutes' Rights" at the first World Whores Congress, in Amsterdam in Feb. 1985, which stated:

"Prostitutes should pay regular taxes on the same basis as other independent contractors and employees, and should receive the same benefits."

Feb. 1985 - International Committee for Prostitutes' Rights 



CON (no)

Julie Bindel, Journalist and Cofounder of Justice for Women, in a Feb. 2, 2013 article for spectator.co.uk titled "Why Even Amsterdam Doesn't Want Legal Brothels," wrote:

"In 2000 the Dutch government… [legalized] the already massive and highly visible brothel trade... The Dutch government hoped to play the role of the honourable pimp, taking its share in the proceeds of prostitution through taxation. But only 5 per cent of the women registered for tax, because no one wants to be known as a whore - however legal it may be. Illegality has simply taken a new form, with an increase in trafficking, unlicensed brothels and pimping...

Legalisation has not been emancipation. It has instead resulted in the appalling, inhuman, degrading treatment of women… And as the Dutch government reforms itself from pimp to protector, it will have time to reflect on the damage done to the women caught in this calamitous social experiment."

Feb. 2, 2013 - Julie Bindel 



Janice Raymond, PhD, former Co-Executive Director of the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women (CATW) wrote "State-Sponsored Prostitution" for the Seminar on the Effects of Legalisation of Prostitution Activities, in Stockholm on Nov. 5-6, 2002, stating that:

"We believe that State-sponsored prostitution is one of the significant root causes of sex trafficking. We call legalized or regulated prostitution State-sponsored prostitution because although legalized or regulated systems vary, the common element is that the system of prostitution itself becomes accepted and legitimated by the State. The term State-sponsored prostitution signals that in any of these legalized or regulated systems that recognize the sex industry as a legitimate enterprise, the State effectively becomes another pimp, living off the earnings of women in prostitution."

Nov. 5-6, 2002 - Janice Raymond, PhD 



Diane Post, JD, in the July 1999 Off Our Backs article "Legalizing Prostitution: A Systematic Rebuttal," wrote:

"I personally have been physically threatened and attacked and sued for exposing pornography and prostitution. I don't believe those of us who oppose it are naive. In fact the huge economic profits and entrenchment of such economic activity in national economies by national governments is precisely the point - women are becoming commodities not only for private businesses but for the state as well."

July 1999 - Diane Post, JD 



Donna M. Hughes, PhD, Professor and Eleanor M. and Oscar M. Carlson Endowed Chair of the Women's Studies Program at the University of Rhode Island, wrote in the May 11, 2004 National Review article "Don't Legalize" that stated:

"German lawmakers thought they were going to get hundreds of millions of euros in tax revenue when they legalized prostitution and brothels in 2002. But keeping with criminal nature of prostitution, the newly redefined 'business owners' and 'freelance staff' in brothels will not pay up. Germany is suffering a budget deficit, and the Federal Audit Office estimates that the government has lost over two billion euros a year in unpaid tax revenue from the sex industry. Last week, lawmakers started to look for ways to increase collection of taxes from prostitutes. Disgustingly, they expect to solve their economic problems, at least in part, off the backs of the some of the most abused and exploited women in the world."

May 11, 2004 - Donna M. Hughes, PhD