Technology

German Prostitutes Pay Streetwalking Fee at Parking Meter-Like Machine

DiscoblogBy Veronique GreenwoodSep 2, 2011 3:59 PM

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Get yer streetwalking permit here!

From 8:15 pm to 6:00 am each day, prostitution is legal in Germany, where working call girls staff brothels, sauna clubs, and other such establishments. In the city of Bonn, which, uh, "boasts" around 200 prostitutes, an average of 20 freelancers go cruising each night, picking up clients on the street and heading to garage-like structures called "consummation areas" the city put up especially for that purpose. They've thought of everything, those Germans! Girls in the various brothel-like establishments have always been subject to a prostitution tax, but streetwalkers, apparently, haven't being paying. Now, though, the city has a way to make things fair for everyone: a parking meter for prostitutes

. The meter looks just like the sidewalk ticket-dispensers you've probably used in numerous cities to park your car, but for about $8.70, this one dispenses a pass allowing the holder to cruise for johns all night. When the city emptied one after the first night, it yielded a haul of $375, prompting various media outlets to comment on how honorable the city's prostitutes must be. But one has to wonder how many people just bought a ticket for the novelty and never made good on their right to sell themselves. Those 20 prostitutes on the street each night would only have paid a total of $175. A spokesperson from a prostitute support group has called the system double taxation, as freelancers already pay income tax, but given that the girls in brothels are paying extra tax as well, it doesn't seem like such an imposition. One does wonder, though, if the in-brothel tax is on a per-client basis. Freelancers have to pay a flat rate regardless of whether they get any work. One hopes, at least, that Germany has a home office deduction. [via The Week

]

Image courtesy of fowgre / flickr

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