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Opinion

Ooh! de Cologne

Should vigorous sex be taxed as well as taxing? The German  city of Cologne thinks it should.


According to press reports, Cologne is breaking new ground by extending its entertainment tax, which is already levied on gambling, to brothels and massage parlours. Prostitution is legal in Germany for EU residents.

"This is about making taxes fair, but also because we are more than up to our necks in financial problems," Inge Schürmann, a city spokeswoman, told the news agency Reuters.

"The government's reforms are clearly not enough to provide a solid financial basis for local authorities."

Cologne spent an estimated e3.2 billion in 2003. So could bondage replace bonds in the world of municipal finance?

Taxing brothels at e150 per bed per month could raise e200 million for the city. 


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