KANSAS CITY Kansas (Reuters) - Kansas is looking to make up for lost taxes through an auction of handcuffs, vibrators and other items seized from a defunct chain of sex novelty stores, despite objections from a lawmaker who accused the state of dealing in pornography.
The online auction from the chain called “Bang!” will be held through next Tuesday, with the goods available for public starting Monday.
“Something for everyone!” said a promotion of the sale on Equip-Bid.com, the auction company.
The five Bang! stores in Kansas, doing business as United Outlets LLC, owe $163,986 in sales, income and withholding taxes, said Kansas Department of Revenue spokeswoman Jeannine Koranda.
The department seized the stores’ goods but released them for the auction, a common practice, she said.
Kansas state Senator Anthony Hensley, a Democrat and the party’s leader in the Senate, criticized Republican Governor Sam Brownback and his administration for pursuing the sex toy auction.
“Brownback is so desperate to fill the massive hole in the state budget caused by his reckless income tax cuts that the state of Kansas is now in the porn business,” Hensley said in a news release.
Brownback spokeswoman Eileen Hawley said the state cannot legally destroy the items and that selling them is the best solution.
“While we do not agree with the type of business involved here, it was nonetheless a legal business that was closed due to failure to pay taxes,” Hawley said in an email.
Reporting by Kevin Murphy in Kansas City; Editing by Jon Herskovitz and Steve Orlofsky