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Strippers Outraged by “Human Display Fee”

San Antonio- San Antonio’s topless dancers are outraged over a proposal to charge a so called ‘human display fee’ to the city’s strippers and the clubs they work in, ranging from $375 for each establishment, to a $100 annual fee for each manager, and a $50 a year ‘dancing permit’ fee for each stripper.

The proposal, which is part of City Manager Terry Brechtel’s annual budget proposal, was first reported by 1200 WOAI news on Monday and was immediately praised by several members of city council.

But ‘Sable,’ who takes it off several times a night at the Palace Men’s Club, sees a lot of hypocrisy in the proposal.

“The guys who are making this proposal are the same guys you see in here week after week,” she told 1200 WOAI’s Jeff Vexler.

“The council needs to be careful what they ask for. The girls are going to go someplace else, the clubs are going to end up shutting down, and the city won’t get the tax revenue.”

The ‘if you can’t beat ’em, tax ’em’ proposal is the latest in the city’s twenty year effort to shut down the lucrative and politically well connected ‘gentlemen’s club’ industry, with it’s gaudy clubs that line Loop 410 and Interstate 35 along the north and northeast sides.

Stripper Chelsea says taxing them is unconstitutional discrimination.

“We’re entertainers. They aren’t proposing taxing all entertainers. What about the guys telling jokes down at the Comedy Club. Should they have to pay a fee to work in the city?”

Attorney James O. Deegear, who represents many of the gentlemen’s clubs, agrees.

“I can’t think of any other business in town that would require people to pay the city in order to work in their private business,” he said.

The strippers say they won’t take it.

“There are a lot of good girls in this business who are working hard every day to pay for their kids, to pay for their school, to try to get a little bit ahead. The fact that they’re trying to kick us when we’re down is just wrong,” Sable said.

Stripper Laurel adds, “I’m 21, I have three kids, I can’t go work at McDonalds and make a good living.”

Sable says the council has gone too far.

“I go to school, I take care of my kids. It’s just a job. People should be happy that I’m taking care of my kids and not dumping them onto welfare.”

“Sure I take my clothes off to make money, but we’re not in jail,” Chelsea said. “They just have it out for us.”



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