NAC Action Alert
NEVADA SENATE BILL 247

May 13, 2005

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                     NATURIST ACTION COMMITTEE
                           ACTION ALERT
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                 http://www.naturistsociety.com/NAC/
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Copyright 2005 by the Naturist Action Committee, which is responsible
 for its content. Permission is granted for the posting, forwarding or
 redistribution of this message, provided that it is reproduced in its
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DATE: May 13, 2005
SUBJECT: Nevada Senate Bill 247
TO: Naturists and other concerned citizens

Dear Naturist,

This is an Action Alert from the Naturist Action Committee concerning important legislation in the state of Nevada. NAC is asking for your immediate help.

NAC has identified Nevada Senate Bill 247 as a threat to naturists. The bill would impose a 10% excise tax on "Live Adult Entertainment." Unfortunately, the definition of "Live Adult Entertainment" in the proposed bill is so broad that it can be interpreted to include naturist or nudist resorts, as well as business facilities that may be rented only occasionally for naturist events.


WHAT DOES SB 247 PROPOSE?

The legislation proposes a revision to an existing 10% tax on live entertainment that was adopted by the state just two years ago. SB 247 would replace the existing levy with a tax that applies only to "live adult entertainment."

Senate Bill 247 defines "live adult entertainment" as "any activity provided for pleasure, enjoyment, recreation, relaxation, diversion or other similar purpose which includes the exposure of one or more personal anatomical features by a person or persons who are physically present when providing that activity to a patron or group of patrons who are physically present."

"Personal anatomical feature" is defined by the proposed new law to mean "any portion of the:
  1. Genitals, pubic region, anus or perineum of any human person; or
  2. Areola of any female human breast or of any male human breast which has been surgically altered to appear as a female human breast.


WHY IS THIS A NATURIST ISSUE?

Beyond the obvious burden of an additional tax, the inclusion of nudist resorts and other naturist venues in the bill's overly broad definition of "Live Adult Entertainment" creates a dangerous and unacceptable situation for naturists. The classification of nudist and naturist resorts as "adult" facilities for taxation purposes places them just a step away from further onerous regulation and suggests bans on families with children.


HISTORY AND DISCUSSION

Nevada has taxed live entertainment in casinos for many years. The two-year-old tax on noncasino live entertainment was expected to bring in as much as $75 million in additional revenue to the state, but the actual figure has been only $6 million. Entertainment taxes on strip clubs currently make up 62 percent of the noncasino revenue, but many such clubs are exempt because of a 300-seat minimum that was written into the law. That same minimum has prevented the tax from being applied to the state's brothels.

SB 247 was introduced on March 21 by Nevada State Senator Dina Titus (D-Las Vegas). The measure would shift the entire 10% live entertainment tax to the state's sexually oriented entertainment industry and remove the 300-seat minimum. As introduced, the bill would also have imposed the tax on brothels. According to Sen. Titus, the result of shifting this tax will be the addition of a second NASCAR race in Nevada and the selection of the state as a location for a new Major League Baseball franchise.

NAC testified in opposition to SB 247 at the Senate Taxation Committee hearing of April 12, pointing out the inappropriate inclusion of nudist resorts and other naturist venues in the definition of "live adult entertainment." The ACLU also testified against the legislation. Despite a subsequent assurance by the sponsor that the bill would be amended to protect naturist interests, the measure was reported out by the committee with no such amendment, but with a protection for brothels, instead.

SB 247 was immediately approved by a floor vote of the Senate and was sent to the Assembly, where it has been assigned to the Committee on Commerce and Labor. An Assembly committee hearing on SB 247 is scheduled for May 16.


WHAT IS NAC DOING?

The Naturist Action Committee has consulted with a number of Nevada naturists and with the ownership of the state's landed nudist resort.

NAC testified against Senate Bill 247 in the Senate committee hearing.

NAC has proposed alternate legislative language that would distinguish a venue used for naturist purposes from one used for sexual arousal or gratification.

NAC has been in recent dialog with members of the State Assembly

NAC will be testifying in opposition to the bill at the hearing of the Assembly Committee on Commerce and Labor on May 16.


WHY NOT JUST SEEK AN EXEMPTION FOR NUDIST RESORTS?

Although it has been used as a "quick fix" by others, NAC is not proposing and does not support the specious expedient of seeking exemptions for nudist resorts that have chosen to affiliate with a trade association or other national organization. Such exemptions are fragile, and they seldom make good law.

Nevada provides a good example of the volatile nature of exemptions. In a period of just two years, brothels have been included in the entertainment tax legislation, then exempted, then included again and now exempted again.

Specific exemptions for affiliated nudist parks and resorts leave completely unaddressed those businesses that rent out their facilities occasionally for naturist events. Examples include health clubs and spas where nude swims are held, as well as charter boat operations and even bowling alleys and skating rinks. Under the provisions of SB 247, any such business hosting a naturist event would be classified as an "adult entertainment business entity." Few businesses, if any at all, would be likely to accept that stigma or the responsibility of extra paperwork and reporting obligations.


WHAT IS NAC ASKING YOU TO DO?

The Naturist Action Committee is asking you to make immediate contact with the members of the Assembly Committee on Commerce and Labor. You may make your contact by e-mail, phone or fax (some Nevada lawmakers do not have fax numbers). The state of Nevada relies heavily on tourism from out-of-state residents to bring money into the state, so this call for action extends to ALL naturists and other concerned individuals throughout North America.

IMPORTANT: The hearing is this coming Monday afternoon, so it's necessary for you to take action quickly.

Please ask the lawmakers you contact to oppose the passage of SB 247 in its present form. The definition of "Live Adult Entertainment" in Section 8 of the bill must be redrafted to apply only to adult entertainment, where sex - and not merely nudity - is the basic theme. NAC has proposed such language.

Key points to remember when calling or writing:

   1. Identify yourself. Anonymous calls or correspondence are generally disregarded. If you are a Nevada resident, please say so prominently.

   2. Be brief and polite. If you're calling, be prepared to leave your message with the lawmaker's legislative aide.

   3. Say clearly that you OPPOSE SB 247 in its current form.

   4. Point out that the definition of "Live Adult Entertainment" in Section 8 of SB 247 is so broad as to include simple nudity without any sexual content. The definition impacts family-oriented nudist resorts and other naturist activities, forcing them into a category where they do not deserve to be.

   5. You may wish to mention that imposing a tax specifically on "Live Adult Entertainment" is unlikely to pass constitutional muster under the First Amendment. It is not content neutral, and it is not the least restrictive means of implementing a compelling government interest.


WHOM TO CONTACT

Please contact as many lawmakers as you can from the following list of members of the Nevada Assembly Committee on Commerce and Labor. If you are a Nevada resident, please also contact your own assemblyperson.

    Assemblywoman Barbara Buckley (D-Las Vegas) Committee Chair
   
bbuckley@asm.state.nv.us   TEL (775)684-8537  

    Assemblyman John Oceguera (D-Las Vegas) Committee Vice Chair
  
joceguera@asm.state.nv.us TEL (775)684-8595

    Assemblyman Bernie Anderson (D-Sparks)
  
banderson@asm.state.nv.us TEL (775)684-8563  FAX (775)-358-5825

    Assemblyman Morse Arberry, Jr. (D-Las Vegas)
  
marberry@asm.state.nv.us TEL (775)684-8587  FAX (702)562-1805

    Assemblyman Marcus Conklin (D-Las Vegas)
  
mconklin@asm.state.nv.us TEL (775)684-8505 FAX (702)363-3885

    Assemblywoman Chris Giunchigliani (D-Las Vegas)
  
cgiunchigliani@asm.state.nv.us TEL (775)684-8549  FAX (702)388-4097

    Assemblywoman Kathy McClain (D-Las Vegas)
  
kmcclain@asm.state.nv.us TEL (775)684-8835

    Assemblyman David Parks (D-Las Vegas)
  
dparks@asm.state.nv.us TEL (775)684-8821  FAX (702)736-3922

    Assemblyman Richard Perkins (D-Henderson)
  
rperkins@asm.state.nv.us TEL (775)684-8503  FAX (775)684-8522

    Assemblywoman Francis Allen (R-Las Vegas)
  
fallen@asm.state.nv.us TEL (775)684-8829

    Assemblywoman Heidi S. Gansert (R-Reno)
  
hgansert@asm.state.nv.us TEL (775)684-8837  FAX (775)787-7442

    Assemblyman Lynn Hettrick (R-Gardnerville)
  
lhettrick@asm.state.nv.us TEL (775)684-8843  FAX (775)265-2680

    Assemblyman Bob Seale (R-Henderson)
  
bseale@asm.state.nv.us TEL (775)684-8839  FAX (702)260-9444

    Assemblyman Rod Sherer (R-Pahrump)
  
rsherer@asm.state.nv.us TEL (775)684-8805  FAX (775)727-2406


IF YOU CAN ATTEND THE HEARING ...

Those in the vicinity of Carson City may wish to consider attending the legislative hearing for SB 247. The hearing before the Assembly Committee on Commerce and Labor is scheduled for 2:00 PM on Monday, May 16, in Room 4100 of the State Capitol. If you can make it, your presence in the hearing room will add support to those from NAC who will be speaking against the bill.


MORE INFORMATION AND RESOURCES

The complete text of SB 247 is available on the web site of the Naturist Action Committee.

  
www.naturistsociety.com.NAC

Select "Alerts" and find this NAC Action Alert under Current Alerts. Links will take you to the text of the bill, as well as to NAC's proposed language.


PLEASE HELP NAC TO CONTINUE HELPING NATURISTS!

The Naturist Action Committee is a volunteer nonprofit organization that exists to advance and protect the rights of naturists throughout North America. Fighting bad legislation is expensive. To do its job, NAC relies entirely on the voluntary generosity of supporters like you. To donate to NAC, use the address below, or call toll free (800) 886-7230 to donate by phone using your MasterCard or Visa.

   NAC
   PO Box 132
   Oshkosh, WI 54903

Thank you for choosing to make a difference.

Naturally,

R. Allen Baylis
Board Member
Naturist Action Committee

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Naturist Action Committee (NAC) - PO Box 132, Oshkosh, WI 54903
Executive Dir. Bob Morton       - <ctnudists@aol.com>
Board Member Allen Baylis      - <rab@baylislaw.com>
Online Rep. Dennis Kirkpatrick  - <naturist@sunclad.com>
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NAC's PROPOSED LANGUAGE FOR NV 2005 SB 247

NAC has proposed that "Live Adult Entertainment" be defined as:

"Live adult entertainment" means any business activity, which includes
the exposure of one or more personal anatomical features by a person or
persons who are physically present for the purpose of the sexual arousal
or gratification of a patron or group of patrons who are physically
present.
 

 

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