Strip Club Owners Argue New Fee Unconstitutional

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AUSTIN (AP) - Texas strip club owners have altered their argument against a new surcharge for strip club customers that takes effect Tuesday, January 1.

A coalition of clubs wants a judge to stop the state from collecting the $5 fee for each customer.

In a new court filing the clubs say the fee is an occupation tax that violates the state constitution.

The Texas Constitution requires that a quarter of the revenue generated by all occupation taxes must be set aside for public schools.

Lawmakers dedicated the income from the strip club fee for sexual assault prevention programs and health care for the uninsured.

The clubs also say the fee is not "an equal and uniform occupation tax" because it doesn't apply to businesses such as nude modeling studios and adult arcade theaters.