We are writing to oppose RI - S0096, also known as the Adult Entertainment Performance Tax Act. This bill was introduced on January 16, 2019, and it imposes a $2 tax for admission to adult entertainment businesses. The funds from this tax will go to the Attorney General's office to “combat human trafficking, and pay to test rape kits”
It is no coincidence that this bill was introduced less than two weeks after the Foxy Lady reopened by the RI supreme court. This tax is nothing more than an attempt at retaliation by the state against sex workers. This bill attacks sex worker establishments by forcing them to pay to combat sex trafficking, for which they are not culpable.
This moralistic tax on sex work also fails to address the real roots of trafficking in the state. Rhode Island has neglected provision of adequate services for its youth, as evidenced by recent concern over the conduct of Department of Children, Youth, and Families (DCYF) leadership following a nine-year-old child's death in their custody. Similar failures have often led to the trafficking of minors. The state should focus their energy on fixing their broken youth services programs rather than punishing sex workers who are simply trying to earn a living.
It is also offensive that the Rhode Island state legislature purports to fight sexual violence through the regulation of sex workers' bodies.
Call off Your Tired Old Ethics (COYOTE RI)
February 1, 2019
In addition to:
June KramerBella RobinsonElena ShihSavannah SlyShannah KurlandJoshua BuznitskyMitchell CampanyRachel RourkeMeghan PetersonJulianna BrownCris Sardina- Desiree AlliancePeter MetrinkoShanna Wells, Organizer, RI Womxn's Action InitiativeBrenna BezansonYanhoo Park ChoCarol Leigh, BAYSWAN (Bay Area Sex Worker Advocacy Network)Amber BattsBrown Asian Sisters Empowered (BASE)Jessica JiangYema Yang (Disability Justice at Brown)Emma WexlerJacqueline E GoldmanEmily YoshiokaMay NiiyaAlina LiAmy ChinMegan C SmithNatasha RichmondAnne ZhaoElena Householder RiveraNina Wolff LandauKisa TakesueMarie-Anne BarronBen KelleyFinch CollinsAlex Andrews Laurence CohenQuerube Suarez-WerleinJames HernandezGenevieve MortonBarbara A. GianolaGeorgina AlcuriaAnnie AtwaterToni Newman, St. James InfirmaryAndie StewartTracy RyanLisa PetersonJ. Leigh BrantlyJon Lax Justice Gaines Sarath SuongAhmed SesayPaul TavarezCorey KrajewskiOsiris DiensthuberCharles ChhorGlenn TurnerRebekah YangChristine Shio LimPucci AngellErin AdamChibundo EgwuatuShannon DonahueAri PackardMalana KrongelbMaureen EckertFreya MarsSteve Ahlquist, UpriseRIMika CooperLana Kormik