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Street prostitutes taxed via vending machine

The Local · 30 Aug 2011, 12:05

Published: 30 Aug 2011 12:05 GMT+02:00

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As of Monday, prostitutes had to pay the charge of €6 before they start their business, regardless of the number of customers. A notice on the machine defines the prostitute’s working hours with bureaucratic efficiency: Monday to Sunday, 8:15 pm to 6:00 am.

This is the first such vending machine system in Germany. Dortmund also requires street-workers to buy a tax ticket, though it is on sale in nearby petrol stations, rather than vending machines.

The city council justified the move on the grounds of fairness. City spokeswoman Monika Frömbgen pointed out that prostitutes working in establishments like brothels and sauna clubs also have to pay taxes.

Frömbgen also said the machines were designed for those streetwalkers with limited German skills, who have difficulty filling in income tax forms. She added that inspectors will be sent out to check the tickets; a prostitute with no ticket will first be given a warning, followed by fines and possibly a ban.

Bonn – currently facing financial difficulties – introduced a tax on selling sex at the beginning of this year, and is expecting annual revenue of €300,000.

Story continues below…

The city’s street prostitutes have already been limited to certain areas, following protests from local residents. Six designated, closed off parking spaces have been installed in one area near a brothel where customers can take prostitutes in their cars.

DPA/The Local/bk

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

12:42 August 30, 2011 by freechoice
why tax the poor and give to the rich? if a woman is rich do you think she will become a prostitute?
12:48 August 30, 2011 by golfcricket
Classic!! I guess they'll tax the homeless next for living on the streets rent free..
13:50 August 30, 2011 by William Thirteen
well since prostitution is a legitimate legal occupation in Germany, taxes must be paid! And this is a clever solution. Next time I am in Bonn i am going to purchase a ticket just for the thrill!
14:04 August 30, 2011 by nemo999
It is nice to see the Government trying to be fair in the name of increased revenue. The good news it is a Flat Tax, it is confidential, and appears to be easy to administer. You only pay it for the nights that you work, with out having to keep track of how many clients purchased your services, and at what price they paid for the services. It is like Don't Ask Don't Tell. The ticket can be a wonderful gift for the special person in your life.
14:12 August 30, 2011 by jg.
"The ticket can be a wonderful gift for the special person in your life."

I don't think I will try giving a ticket to my wife....
14:33 August 30, 2011 by The-ex-pat
@ 4:12 August 30, 2011 by jg.

"The ticket can be a wonderful gift for the special person in your life."

I don't think I will try giving a ticket to my wife....

No risk, no fun...............lol
14:35 August 30, 2011 by moistvelvet
So of they have to pay this tax can they claim clothing on their tax return as work clothes, also what would be considered work clothing, what they wear before or during the paid work?
14:40 August 30, 2011 by SnowProtea
Sex work is a job like any other job and they should pay tax like everyone else.

I work in the adult industry in australia where it is a legal job. don't assume a worker is poor or a victim of any kind. a lot of people choose to do their work and are not forced in to it. be a bit more open minded. even the girls in Thailand often choose to do adult work so they can make alot of cash in a short period of time. adult work is not a big deal.honestly I know. women and men from all walks of life get in to adult work. some do it for many years because they choose to! :)
14:51 August 30, 2011 by photogroffee
If you want to learn more about sex workers' human rights, follow Research Project Korea on Facebook and Twitter (find out more on the blog - links are on Facebook)

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16:19 August 30, 2011 by raandy
Can you write a prostitute fee off your taxes?
17:02 August 30, 2011 by michael4096
I wonder how much the machines and inspectors cost - pretty close to the €300k revenue, I'd think.
18:39 August 30, 2011 by Jack Kerouac
300,000 euros divided by 6...that's a lot of prostitutes!
18:51 August 30, 2011 by Lisa Rusbridge
That's not much of a tax at only €6 per day. It's more of a token operator's license fee since it's not tied to the income pulled in from that night's work and instead is about the number of street walkers out on any given evening.

The mention of a brothel having six parking spaces nearby so workers can go into the client's car struck me as strange. I always thought the whole idea of a brothel was that people went into a building, not that they stayed in the car like teenagers.
19:45 August 30, 2011 by Whipmanager
Interesting, 300,000euros. I figure a 5 day work week, and you might notice 250 work days per year, not taking into account any holidays. If you figure 200 Hookers doing business in Bonn, and you figure (from my old days of being a pig) in 1980 prices it was 40DM (no touch, 20 extra for that.... let's say 40 Euro minimum, and it has to be more:

300,000/6euro is 50,000 instances of 6 euros, or tickets. just one act per person at 40 euros brings us to about 2 Mil Euros. So, the state is only taking in 15% of one 40 Euro sale and leaving all of the subsiquent ones tax free. Now that is truly the most under taxed business in Germany and I think I shall beocme a Profi and make tons.

I am ok with the Sex trade. They fill a need and probably save rapes. BUt it isnt fair to under tax them. I would love to say soemthing cute and critical but everytime I do the Local bans me and won't tell me what I did wrong or how to fix it. You can get banned from posting here but I can't find one way to get back on the good boy's list. NO freedom of speech here. And they don't answer my emails either.

Do the German Volk know that Prostitutes are getting better tax breaks than anyone else? This is unfair to the average German worker.
01:50 August 31, 2011 by Larry Thrash
Is there anything that government won't tax? The greed of socialism has no end.
03:41 August 31, 2011 by Californian
From that projected(or should I say, *ahem erected?) 300k they are taking away, how about giving them something back? By simply placing machines on the street-side, and insisting they are paid seems to paint the city officials a particular shade of purple... "Pimp-Purple" that is... Perhaps we could give a name to these machines - "Digital Pimps", Digi-Pimp 3000, etc... Larry, I'm afraid the answer is "No there isn't..." Those creative minds are always hard at work thinking of new, and yes, refreshing ways of tapping you and me yet again nicely on the shoulder. Now if we could just get them to socialize the profits made off our own money, and privatize the losses of those responsi... *Stage hook appears and pulls Californian stage-left...
04:33 August 31, 2011 by taiwanluthiers
Can any woman just decide to be a prostitute in Germany, or does she need to be licensed/tested for STD by the state? In the US States that allow prostitution usually requires the prostitute to get licensed and tested first.
08:23 August 31, 2011 by The-ex-pat
At the end of the day, this machine is going to make a killing in profit. Working girls will buy a ticket, but that will probably pale into insignificance the number of tickets that will be bought be tourists to the area as a keepsake of a visit to see those quirky Europeans. I think the €300,000 is rather conservative.

PS, I with I was taxed at €6 a day........................
09:52 August 31, 2011 by freechoice
this is degrading to women, they have to buy a parking ticket to park themselves along the streets!!
10:58 August 31, 2011 by fourwheeler77

More degrading than selling your body for sex???
19:40 August 31, 2011 by Flint
@ william thirteen. That's a good idea. I never know when a woman is going to offer me money to have sex with her. Oh. Wait. Yes, I do. Never.
22:24 August 31, 2011 by Asgarli
This country must be so sad if there are so many prostitutes here, and more important, so many clients for them...
22:40 August 31, 2011 by Whipmanager
Prostitution serves a purpose in this world.

The germans recognize it wont go away, so they should:1. Tax it, 2. Make sure hte Pros are inspected for health purposes, 3. protected under the law.

If someone says it is degrading, since in germany it is a voluntary job-for the most part, how do you explain so many German women doing it, and making good money from it?

I still wonder why people are making much of the fact that these people are getting off (no pun intended, or did I, wait, I can't let this go by, yes-PUN intended) without paying their fair share.
00:17 September 1, 2011 by TheChanger
Prostitution is degrading? To whom? How is it degrading?

If a woman chooses freely to become a prostitute, does the degradation come from the REASON she is choosing to do it? If it's because she needs money it is degrading? What if she just really likes sex and thinks she should make money doing something she loves? Is it degrading then?

Or is prostitution just simply degrading to women by its very existence? I venture to say that this would fall very much under the subject of an OPINION, not a fact.

My opinion? Prostitution is called the "oldest profession in the world" for very good reason. For THOUSANDS of years it has been in existence. During some of that time period the prostitutes were considered the upper crust of society. It was deemed an HONOR to be accepted into that trade.

Think about it.
18:51 September 1, 2011 by heyheyhey

why is it that you repeatedly run your mouth about damn near every topic? In addition you attempt to impress with mathematical and reasoning ability. I am not impressed. I do not believe that you are sophisticated or intelligent...you are simply a man with a too-large ego who needs to chronically run off at the mouth..

PLEASE S...T..F... UP!

20:02 September 1, 2011 by Whipmanager
HEYHEYHEY: I comment because I have soemthing to say, and my opinion is at least as good as anything you have contributed, in fact, all you did contribute here was your comment against me, very well thought out and written too.

Secondly, if my numbers are wrong, show me. They are just simple math, you may need a calculator though. Let me help you:

The point I was so eloquently making, is that the money the German Government will make is low compared to the amount of transactions that will take place. The prostitute is treated as a special case for the SteurAmt, as they get charged much less than anyone else and yet have more unreportable income that gives them an unfair economic advantage. Germans should care. If you look at all of the brothels and street workers, millions in Tax money should be given to the Govt, because truckdrivers, gas station attendants, nurses, doctors, and everyone else (except waitress and bartenders and their tips) have to pay.

It is not important that I am American in this instance. I own German Property and I pay German Taxes. I comment on many things because I have interest in many things, and, sadly, have a great deal of experience in a great many things. It happens when you venture out in the world, visit and live places, and take risks to learn new things. You should try it, you may find your horizons will be broadened and your mouth will say things much more intelligently. You may even make a salient point. In fact that is something that so far, hasn't really come from your fingers, or as an extension, from your head through your fingers. Just one Pathetic American's opinion, no more or less important than any other man's opinion in this forum.
21:30 September 1, 2011 by heyheyhey

It is tiring hearing ex-military people continually comment as if the truth was, in fact, something we care to read. It matters not whether you "own property" in Germany. I AM German. I resent your mouth continually flapping in the wind.

Go away, AMI.....
09:58 September 2, 2011 by golfcricket
@ heyheyhey ~ You have issues and desperately need some professional help.. Freedom to speak?? Have you heard of it? Your comments are a disgrace.
18:07 September 2, 2011 by BongoBern
Now, if we can get the richer Americans to up their tax anti too, AND legalize and tax prostitution - our economy will roar back to life. I'd even legalize some drugs and tax them. Happy days are here again in more ways than one!
07:21 September 3, 2011 by heyheyhey
@golfcricket......defend the man who flaps his mouth about most everything, as If he knows all, if you will. Do you not ever get tired of hearing the braying jackass in the field, day after day? I certainly do.

Making light of an issue such as this, as does whipmanager, demonstrates that he sorely lack the insight knowledge and wisdom he would attempt to portray.

How is that you know, whipmanager, that prostitution serves a purpose? Who is served by it? Do you think for one minute that any woman would readily choose prostitution if she had an opportunity to earn a good living doing other work??? I suppose you actually believe that women enjoy their work as prostitutes. It is pathetic that anyone would see prostitution as anything other that the gross abuse and exploitation of one gender.

Read the research, then comment.

It is interesting that many commenters here are men. I ask all of you men to tell us what you know for fact about the lives and motivation of prostitutes.

Golfcricket, i think that ole army boy whipmanager can defend himself, or not!
16:50 September 3, 2011 by derExDeutsche

'It is interesting that many commenters here are men. I ask all of you men to tell us what you know for fact about the lives and motivation of prostitutes.'

I'll bite. Prostitutes are just like anybody... no 2 people or cicumstances are the same. However, many come from similar circumstances.

Some were raised in broken homes, some not. Some were sexually abused, others not. Some are drug addicts, still others not. Some have children, etc... all have bills to pay.

there are, also, those who come from the best homes, with loving parents, plenty of money, the best schools, all they could ask for, but somehow they still end up on the street hustling for years.... they do it for any # or reasons. for the excitement, lack of any other prospects, addiction, Psych issues, etc ...

and like it or not, some women actually ENJOY what they do .
08:54 September 4, 2011 by heyheyhey

"some women actually Enjoy what they do"..............you know this to be true? Please share your information source.

I think that most men want to believe this. However, it would seem that a bit of delusion is happening.

I think that your response is superficial and that you actually seem to know very little about these women.

How could you REALLY know much of anything about a group that you and others exploit?
11:05 September 6, 2011 by shkiM
German prostitution has been lawful and taxable since 2002. While obtaining taxes from brothels and sex clubs is a straightforward enterprise, getting sex workers on the street to pay has proven harder. To help address the oversight, the city of Bonn has installed automated hooker street meters so that the nightly sex tax can be collected. Article resource: Germany installs prostitute street meters for sex tax. The government is just being fair because some women who work in establishments like sex centers or sauna clubs are taxed only because we can find them more easily.Their government is cool about this issue,well no one can stop them doing that job and legalizing it is the best way to do plus the government can earn but these sex workers must also have their health benefits since they're job is very prone to STI's.And spreading of this diseases will also affect the government and the workers.
22:41 September 6, 2011 by Whipmanager
heyheyhey: This is now getting way off of the mark, but at one time, I was married to soemone in teh sex industry. She liked the work because she made very good money, she set her own hours, she charged her prices, and she didn't have to work 5 days a week for her hwhole life. She gave it up for awhile when we were married, but I think she went back to it when we finished.

I knew several women through her that did like the trade. Some didn't but it was a way to make money, but my ex was a college educated person, at a time the economy of the world was very good. There were other jobs, and she spoke French, German, Spanish adn English. She had very good computer skills (they were new in the early 90's) and she was very marketable. Still, she chose that profession, it didnt choose her.

I think derExDeutsche has hit on a very important point. My information is based on the people I knew, a small sample populace, but representative of soem statistical fraction. Randomly experienced, due to not knowing I was getting into the circle- I didn't seek this group of people out, it just happened.

I can speak of what I do because, as I told you, I have lived, I have experienced things, and I am a man who is not afraid to search for new boundaries, not tied totally by what society deems acceptable. Am I a fool? Maybe, is yoru rant more emotional than fact based? I think it is very much so. I think she gave up her work for love of me knowing that I would get into trouble if the base found out. I wouldn't want my wife doing that anyways, so it would have had to happen. But I feel we may have separated due to her need to feel teh excitement of the new and the danger of the unknown. A psychological thing? Maybe. SOme people-look at Geroge Michael, just have what they want and need more so they get crazy.

Germany is not a place of Free Speech as we have it in the US. So I respect that my thoughts and words are censored by the likes of you. They are not any less valid becasue I am a man, or I am and AMI who has ties to your country. My family comes from teh Rhineland and so just three generations ago, I can say I have German roots. NOt as good as yours, but still they are there. Tax for Sex? Make it fair and get to teh meat of the situation. DOnt just fake it.
18:15 September 9, 2011 by nightynight
whipmanager, you are perpetuating the story of the happy prostitute that men love to believe.

Yes, some probably are as you describe.

But the majority are not, they are selling themselves out of necessity or because they believe they are worth nothing more.

heyheyhey is right.
20:38 September 9, 2011 by brnskin2010
How would any of you men know why a woman hooks.....your not a women.....so stop it......you will never understand why a woman hooks......there is nothing wrong with taxing.....whether they pay as much as a doktor,lawyer,etc.....i think it's fair b/c you can't judge how much shw will make in a nite, week,or month......sometimes she may not make any euros,,,but she still has that tax 2 pay....just sayn
09:03 September 11, 2011 by heyheyhey

Married to a hooker........what a claim to fame. Nobody but you would run your pathetic mouth about something like that. You are DISGUSTING!

Have you ever gotten your syphilis treated????? Sounds like stage 3 to me.......you know, when it goes to the brain and greatly impacts sanity.
19:30 September 18, 2011 by AvidCollector
Actually, This isn't as strange as it seems. Many cities around the world have taxed prostitution. Over a hundred years ago the city of Rosario, in Argentina, issued a famous (infamous?) series of stamps that are very popular with collectors. There's even a website about them: sanitariostamps.com

@ nemo999: One of these would make a wonderful gift for me! I'm an avid collector of prostitution tax stamps. Since this article was published, there's been quite a bit of interest in the philatelic community. Unfortunately, I don't speak German; if I did, I'd post on an escort bulletin board and try to obtain some.

If one of the women has the foresight to save her stamps -- and perhaps those of her coworkers ­ she can probably find a market for them.
21:20 January 11, 2012 by mantan
Thank God for the Prostitute tax. Now my wife and daughter can legally work the streets. This is the only form of Income we have. Sometimes my daughter complains because some of the men are not gentlemen.
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