New Mexico Could Become 2nd State to Tax Strip Club Patrons

Rhett Pardon
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — New Mexico could become the second state in the nation to force strip clubs to add a customer tariff.

Sen. John T.L. Grubesic, D-Santa Fe, has introduced Senate Bill 64, a piece of legislation that would mirror a new tax that just went into effect in Texas.

The $5-per-customer tax in New Mexico for nude strip clubs would help put additional revenue on the table for the state as it faces a budget crunch, Grubesic said.

“This is in no way making any comment on strip clubs — whether we don’t need them, whether we need them,” Grubesic told ABC-affiliate KOAT. “I just thought of it as an alternative source to come up with some revenue.”

“It’s $5. That’s nothing. I think beer in these places runs around $5,” Grubesic said.

New Mexico has less than a dozen nude strip clubs, with the bulk of them in Albuquerque, including a Spearmint Rhino.

Proceeds of the tax would be earmarked to New Mexico’s sexual crimes prosecution and treatment fund.

In Texas, proceeds of their $5 tax are planned to offset rising health care expenses for the state’s uninsured residents and to finance sexual assault prevention programs. Texas’ tax went into effect Jan. 1.

XBIZ was unable to reach Grubesic on Friday.

Lawmakers will once again take on the topic at the capitol on Monday. The piece of legislation so far has circulated through several committees.

If passed, SB 64 would go into effect Jan. 1, 2009.