City introduces "tax meters" for prostitutes

BERLIN Wed Aug 31, 2011 11:45am EDT

A prostitute walks on the street at Oranienburgen Strasse in Berlin's central district Mitte September 14, 2010. REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch

A prostitute walks on the street at Oranienburgen Strasse in Berlin's central district Mitte September 14, 2010.

Credit: Reuters/Fabrizio Bensch

Related Topics

BERLIN (Reuters) - Prostitutes in the German city of Bonn must carry a ticket purchased from a new parking meter-like machine while working the streets or face hefty fines from tax authorities in a scheme launched on Monday night.

In Germany, ladies of the night pay income tax -- the level of which varies from region to region -- but compliance is difficult to enforce with women seeking business on the street.

Germany's first "sex tax meters," from which prostitutes can purchase a ticket for 6 euros ($8.72) per night, will ensure the tax system is fairly implemented, a city spokeswoman said.

"Inspectors will monitor compliance -- not every evening but frequently," the spokeswoman told Reuters.

If caught without a valid ticket, offenders will first be reprimanded, then face fines and later even a ban.

About 200 prostitutes work in Bonn. Due to protests from residents, city officials have limited the areas of operation to specific quarters.

But critics say this has made it easier for prostitutes to ply their trade. The city has erected what officials call "consummation areas," wooden parking garages where customers driving cars can retreat to with prostitutes. ($1 = 0.688 Euros)

(Reporting By Natalia Drozdiak, editing by Paul Casciato)

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see
Comments (3)
Bobo_9 wrote:
I can’t imagine using the services of a prostitute under any circumstances.
The worst exploitation I’ve seen is in Shanghai.
The have “runners” passing out playing cards in front of the hotels with pictures of the pros along with a phone number to call & their “English” name.
When you decline to accept the card from the runner, they just ask you what you want — “You want young girl ? You want old woman ? You want young boy ? Whatever you want I get for you. You want do it in car, or do it in alley, or do it in hotel room ? No problem, they do whatever you want them to do”.
Really sad . . . also you can buy their services in 10 minute blocks – it says so right on the card, the 1st one I took only because I didn’t know what it was at the time.

Sep 01, 2011 8:30am EDT  --  Report as abuse
AdeleInTexas wrote:
Wow! This must be some of that superior European culture we keep hearing so much about, huh? It’s so enviable on the East Coast, the West Coast, on Capitol Hill…

Maybe some day they’ll can pass meter laws for ladies of the evening here, too, but they’d probably make them join SEIU and pay union dues to join Hookers Local 101 instead and afterall, what could possibly be more fitting than to unionize even more people to help the unions screw us?

Sep 01, 2011 2:14pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
… and sends the money to Greece in a hopeless attempt to save the European Union from a banking system, designed to produce more debt than money!

Sep 01, 2011 3:18pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.