Reuters amuses with Germans slap "pleasure tax" on brothels:
With the German economy on the brink of recession, cash-strapped cities are resorting to slapping a "pleasure tax" on brothels to help balance budgets.Measuring tapes? Dare I ask?
Berlin and Cologne said on Friday they may broaden their existing pleasure tax -- which already applies to casinos and public events -- to brothels, sex shows and erotic trade fairs.
The cities of Gelsenkirchen and Dorsten have already done so, but with only modest success. Only about a tenth of brothels have paid up since the tax was broadened in January.
"Our tax inspectors are combing through sex adverts in local newspapers and then paying visits, but equipped with measuring tapes," said Martin Schulmann, spokesman for Gelsenkirchen.
Tax officials are checking out sex venues and prostitutes working from home to see if they are eligible for the tax, which amounts to 5.60 euros (3.5 pounds) per 10 square metres (107 sq ft) of business space per day.That will certainly give new meaning to a "bargain quickie".
Prostitutes' lobby group Hydra said in a statement the tax was "pretty absurd".
"Are we going to measure tax payments by the size of the brothel? If so Berlin's clients will have to satisfy their needs in cramped cubbyholes or standing up. Does this city need this?"
But there is somewhat related good news - they got their bratwurst back at the Brandenburg gate:
Bratwurst sizzled near Berlin's historic Brandenburg gate again on Friday, months after the city's most famous sausage stand was closed because it was deemed smelly and an eyesore.Bratwurst smelly? What's come over the Germans?