The state's strip clubs had thought they'd won an injunction against the $5/person fees imposed by HB1751, but that victory was short-lived when the Attorney General ruled that the fee was still in place while the state appealed the ruling. Now they're trying their luck with the Supreme Court.
An association representing strip clubs asked the Texas Supreme Court on Monday to stop the state from collecting a new fee that a trial court has ruled unconstitutional.
The state has already received $3.3 million in payments from the clubs in their initial quarterly payments due last month.
The emergency petition is designed to prevent clubs from having to remit the fee while the state appeals a March ruling from a Travis County state district judge.
The Texas Entertainment Association has attempted to stop collection of the fee, arguing that some clubs would be forced into closure by the expense. The group was turned down last month by the Third Court of Appeals.
In the ruling on the constitutionality, a judge said the $5-per-patron fee is unconstitutional because the state failed to link the First Amendment-protected activity to the programs being funded by the tax. He halted collection of the tax at that time, but his ruling was automatically stayed when the state appealed.