September 5th, 2011
03:59 AM GMT
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(CNN) – As the eurozone battles public debt issues, a city in Germany has made it easier for sex workers to pay taxes.

Bonn has installed automated pay stations on the streets in which streetwalkers can pay and print out receipts for a 6 euro fee (about $8.70) each night, according to an article in the New York Times. If police stop the prostitutes, they must have a current ticket to practice their trade.

Prostitution is legal in Germany and income taxable. While collecting tax returns is easier at brothels, getting government revenues from curbside sex workers is more problematic for Germany tax authorities.

“What the government in Bonn was finding was that it was hard for sex workers who solicit sex on the street to fill out tax returns for many reasons: A) they were probably really busy, but also some of them don’t speak the language,” Nadia Bilchik, a CNN editorial producer, explained on CNN Saturday.

The Siemens-built meter machine – a converted parking meter – cost nearly $12,000; of the city’s 200 sex workers, an estimated 20 work on the streets, according to the Times.

"We expect to get some 200,000 euros ($288,000) per year from the meter," city spokesperson Isabelle Klotz told AFP.

According to an article in Suddeutsche Zeitung, the move was made to make taxes more equitable as sex workers in the city’s designated “Eros centers” and sauna clubs already paid taxes. Street prostitution in Bonn is limited to an area opposite an “Eros Center,” and customers use one of six “sex boxes” – partitioned parking spaces – equipped with emergency buttons to alert nearby night watchmen of trouble, according to Suddeutsche Zeitung.

One Bonn sex worker – 24-year-old “Nicoleta” from Romania – interviewed by Deutsche Welle said her main problem isn’t the new tax, but a recent drop-off in business. “It's not that much money, but when there's no work, well…"

soundoff (76 Responses)
  1. xavi

    But what if it was true love?

    September 5, 2011 at 4:51 am |
  2. Fabrice Mercier

    Siemens. How appropriate.

    September 5, 2011 at 4:58 am |
  3. aroth

    The numbers don't seem to add up. If there are 20 sex workers on the streets, each paying $8.70 a night, then the meter should bring in $63,510 each year. It would take almost 5 times as many prostitutes to reach the $288,000 stated in the article.

    September 5, 2011 at 5:13 am |
  4. juggalo

    aroth: most prostitutes have alot more than 1 customer a day. consider that in your math.

    September 5, 2011 at 5:28 am |
  5. Moslem

    I'd prefer 72 virgins in heaven

    September 5, 2011 at 5:39 am |
  6. hehehe

    hehe that made me giggle ,siemens.. :D

    September 5, 2011 at 6:10 am |
  7. Cregan

    Do Politicians study special math? If every one of the estimated 20 girls who work the streets pay €6 a night every night, that's € 120 a night and if they all work 365 days a year, that is € 43,800. Every one, every night, all year, everyone honest tax payer. Which is harder to believe; that or the estimated € 200,000 the meter will pay in a year?

    September 5, 2011 at 6:12 am |
  8. Cregan

    The €6 tax is a nightly tax, not per client

    September 5, 2011 at 6:13 am |
  9. Oldest Profession

    Well, the rate applied includes deseases? I thought we are in modern times where people aren't obsessed about something that is freely adquire with a relationship. We had free the world of tabu to make healthier enviroment to find out that: the old profession and the 'needy' still been in square one. I wonder!? do they have male prostitutes also?
    Siemens were in electronic technology, I guess; not only the ladies are corrupted.
    I think the user's should be paying a fine for being sick and corrupted and stop to use woman as an object.
    No more words for this despicable thing, I want to puke!

    September 5, 2011 at 6:29 am |
  10. Grakk

    "...something that is freely adquire with a relationship."

    Uh, you DO realize the absence of a relationship is sort of the point of prostitution, right? Also, since when are relationships "free"? LOL

    September 5, 2011 at 6:52 am |
  11. Tourist

    I think it makes a cool souvenir for tourist...

    September 5, 2011 at 6:56 am |
  12. jose

    Congratulations to Bonn. That's what intelligent governments do, stupid ones copy the pathetic sweden law that makes sweden be the #1 in rape cases. And there's even more stupid governments from countries that are drowned in debts but still insist in spend tax payer money to go after innocent women.

    September 5, 2011 at 6:58 am |
  13. Haha

    From an unnamed source in Berlin: Starting in 2012, Germany is going to tax air. The first air-meters will be along the major recreation paths, where most of the joggers frequent. It will be the exact same machine as above, with the Siemens name. The sex-meter will be renamed to Seximens, so that joggers will not be mistaken for sex-workers.

    September 5, 2011 at 7:01 am |
  14. Casper

    These should be used in other countries. At least one would then know precisely what is a short-time and long-time boom-boom.

    September 5, 2011 at 7:08 am |
  15. mafarican

    Prostitutes are simply going to pass this cost to us customers

    September 5, 2011 at 7:42 am |
  16. seun

    Sex is a powerful tool when it comes to relaxation. Prostitutes are part of the society. Their involvement in paying Tax is not an option; its a civic duty. The idea of sex meter is okay but the implementation is the issue. Maybe; the full time prostitutes should be registered so as to aid Enforcement of the payment.

    September 5, 2011 at 7:50 am |
  17. WTF

    Gotta say, the name on the box made me facpalm. It's like a really bad pun.

    September 5, 2011 at 8:01 am |
  18. Willport

    @Cregan... perhaps they can get the balance from selling media space on the machine, or having it sponsored by some condom brand for example.

    September 5, 2011 at 8:06 am |
  19. Loo3

    What if it is only a blow job? No break there?

    September 5, 2011 at 8:16 am |
  20. joshi


    September 5, 2011 at 8:38 am |
  21. joshi


    September 5, 2011 at 8:40 am |
  22. joshi


    September 5, 2011 at 8:43 am |
  23. joshi


    September 5, 2011 at 8:48 am |
  24. joshi


    September 5, 2011 at 8:51 am |
  25. joshi


    September 5, 2011 at 8:53 am |
  26. jim

    Disgusting filthy Country

    September 5, 2011 at 9:03 am |
  27. Lukas MI

    So, If I own one of this machine, I am considered a pimp?

    September 5, 2011 at 9:09 am |
  28. PDK

    Only morally deprived person or government would take a share from the proceeds of prostitution, how fitting this happens in Germany!

    September 5, 2011 at 9:36 am |
  29. Eric

    @jim so what country are you from?

    September 5, 2011 at 9:50 am |
  30. Michael

    All taxes collected in this shady manner should go to social outreach programs.

    September 5, 2011 at 10:39 am |
  31. Joel

    The Tax Meter Machines should be placed at the entrance to the place where the "Sex Boxes" are located and payment into the Tax Meter Machine be made to grant access to the so called sex boxes. With this, the tax is borne by the two parties to the game and it will be based on pay as you enjoy (use the box) basis. This will ensure that the sex machines breaks even and even earn some profits while making the tax equitable being levied on both parties. How they share it is their cup of love(?). How ever if this is done the tax rate should be reduced and there will be no need for tax officials to monitor prostitutes for their tax receipts which is an added cots.

    September 5, 2011 at 11:47 am |
  32. Nuno

    There is no end to human stupidity and bizarness

    September 5, 2011 at 12:11 pm |
  33. Jan

    I wonder what one of the boxes costs and how much the maintenance is. I bet they will not even pay off!

    September 5, 2011 at 12:27 pm |
  34. eddie2010

    And now in an Orwellian twist of fate, there is only one machine and it never works. Suddenly what was once legal is now illegal, as all the prostitutes without their tickets are rounded up. This is how you subvert law.

    September 5, 2011 at 12:44 pm |
  35. clx

    Looking at the situation logically, this makes sense. Prostitution is a service job.

    Services get taxed in Germany (VAT) and income gets taxed in Germany. In reality, €6 is a good deal. The VAT on other services is 19% of the amount paid. This latter amount would normally be collected TOGETHER with the income tax, possible licensing tax (for a business license – i.e. if prostitution is a non-professional-freelance service) as well as other possible fees, taxes and premiums / contributions.

    September 5, 2011 at 2:16 pm |
  36. mr774

    Japanese government should install this meter at Shinjyuku-Kabukicho or Yoshiwara-town.
    It contributes to decrease Government debt.

    September 5, 2011 at 2:38 pm |
  37. rex annan

    Ghana government should adopt this strategy to increase revenue and stop borrowing. this move will also cut down on the number people migrating to Ghana from other west african countries to prostitute.

    September 5, 2011 at 3:42 pm |
  38. alexander

    pay for SEMEN or Siemens. It is all men sheet.....that is the cause of the tax.

    September 5, 2011 at 4:06 pm |
  39. Anietie

    Its really a pity that Germany government encourage prostitution because of taxation

    September 5, 2011 at 4:09 pm |
  40. Art Atwood

    That is a questionable matter in hand, because of risk for them and now the governany must not tax them at all.

    September 5, 2011 at 4:32 pm |
  41. Victoria

    What a debased world we live in. There isn't a person here talking about GOD or MORALITY. No wonder this world is its way out. Good ridance it will be. Look at all of you FOOLS. From those pointless morons who comment, to those engineers who build these idiot machines instead of getting PROSTITUTION off the streets, in the name of money which ends up in the pockets of polygamists! Thank GOD there is a HELL for those who encourage this disgusting garbage way of life, instead of promoting a GODLY LIFE. Good luck, suckers!

    September 5, 2011 at 4:40 pm |
  42. Jojo

    Its so unfortunate to see that people can degenerate so low as to come up with such an idea. What a world!

    September 5, 2011 at 4:53 pm |
  43. Chinonso

    A country with negative leaders think negatively.

    September 5, 2011 at 4:56 pm |
  44. kelerolls

    So does this mean the german govt are pimps???

    September 5, 2011 at 4:58 pm |
  45. VICTOR

    Sex tax! Waow!! The world is truly going to hell in a basket.

    September 5, 2011 at 5:07 pm |
  46. name

    1. This doesn't encourage prostitution, it actually makes it less profitable! And encourages sex-workers to work in brothels, which is safer. (@Aniete...)

    2. Referring to all pseudo-moralistic American comments (@ jim, PDK, ...):
    - Hardly any German thinks prostitution is a good thing, even though it's legal (better than guns at home or the death penalty, though ;) ) BUT: statistics clearly show a correlation between legalised prostitution and low rape rates.
    –> Before criticising prostitution bear in mind that the US-rape rate is 4 times higher than in Germany (without different definitions of rape, as in Sweden).
    - PLUS: you can undermine illegal human trafficking and guarantee for the workers safety far better if prostitution is legal. Also, the sad profession is integrated into health care, with obvious benefits for the prostitutes and for society (STDs)... (oh yeah, Nuno's comment "There is no end to human stupidity and bizarness" makes me think of the US health care system :D )

    Grüße aus Europa :)

    September 5, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
  47. Evan

    What if they give away "freebees" in the form of free (fill in the blank) in curbside vehicles? Do they have to submit the German equivalent of 1099 forms for those customers for them to report sex freebees exceeding some amount in any given tax year? What is really backwards about Germany is they don't let prostitutes write-off condoms as business expenses. Go figure.

    September 5, 2011 at 6:19 pm |
  48. joshi

    Madam Victoria, alleast ur conscience is live in this rot of fools. Their souls are dead. They r pretending as humans but they(Those invent, promote, propagate such things) are animals in the guise of humans

    September 5, 2011 at 6:22 pm |
  49. oldostritch

    To Joshl and Victoria Morals ( a nonexistent commodity) are what entitle believers to judge non-believers. We are finally getting away from the era where women were enslaved and raped all their lives without compensation, and judged should they ever escape. This era has yet to end for many, but attitudes like yours help perpetuate the objectification and enslavement of the less privileged.

    September 5, 2011 at 8:03 pm |
  50. zuluman

    Wow ! This is a real “income“ tax for the ladies.

    September 5, 2011 at 8:21 pm |
  51. ismail gumel


    September 5, 2011 at 8:43 pm |
  52. sin is costy

    prostitution is sin. anyone who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. read the book of Glatians in the Holy Bible. God is Love he forgive us if we repent and leave this practice of sin. Jesus came to earth to save human bing from sin. so come to juses to get freedom from sin get eternal life. Jesus gives us peace, joy and freedom from any bondage of sin.

    September 5, 2011 at 10:02 pm |
  53. louis r

    Leave it to the Germans to turn this business into a "business." Wow, what maturity, huh? I wonder what the PERVERT sex rates are in Germany, as compared tothe US?
    Why repress it, right?
    Tax it. I guess Germany has not been over-run with "holier-than-thous," who are so confused with themselves that the confusion kind of infects the rest of the population and LOGIC!~!

    September 5, 2011 at 10:28 pm |
  54. CSCI132

    WTF. Like anyone is really going to use that thing anyway. I myself find it hard to believe that in a city the size of Bonn there are only 20 hookers on the streets, I have seen more than that on one corner before so their numbers are way off. Maybe they should come up with a device to attatch to the hooker that signals the hooker is having sex and records the data and sends it wirelessly to a central tax office, The hooker then gets a tax bill automatically every month or so for the owed taxes based on the hookers going rate.

    September 5, 2011 at 11:26 pm |
  55. Joshua Nesbit, Seattle, CA

    ... can we put one of these meters on Dominc Straus Khan? :) (yes, I know I misspelled his name, but you recognized the old fart)

    September 5, 2011 at 11:49 pm |
  56. krish

    SEX METER machine might be fruitful to more govt tax and easier to women who take prostitutes as their business in their whole life, but there would be great tackle to the authority for its implementation.And all the ladies dont be prostitutes with their interests, there may be compulsion to sustain their life too. So hidden prostitution might be increased due to lack of adequate implementation.......................

    September 6, 2011 at 4:11 am |
  57. Jack Mutopa

    This is total madness.

    September 6, 2011 at 12:02 pm |
  58. Tom

    you guys amaze me, kingdom of heaven, really start taking psych meds to cure you of these crazy ideas, there is no sin in having sex period, end of discussion, its a natural part of the human condition, which you are apart of. Forced, with anything is considered harmful to another; that's with anyone granted, its great they now have a system that shows consent, imagine that...

    September 7, 2011 at 6:39 am |
  59. Math

    Duh. Number of prostitutes is 20? Really? Not possible. I think the writer dropped a zero.
    If it's 200 on the street, and 2000 in brothels then the math works. 200×8.70x365x50%(time off for weekends, holidays, menstrual cycles, hung over, vacations to Aruba to drown or try to scam an insurance policy, vacations to mart has vineyard to eat ice cream play basketball and golf, attend congressional meetings to cast a vote, time off to tweet pictures of your penis, etc.

    As for the bit about penis pictures- who says the prostitutes are all girls? I'm sure the Germans are into it all.

    When are they gonna start another world war?

    September 8, 2011 at 6:10 am |
  60. Math

    One more thing. Forget the 72 virgins. Give me 3 experienced thai whores. Less time wasted showing each virgin what to do.

    September 8, 2011 at 6:11 am |
  61. okenwa dalington obinna

    Sex is ment to be free.

    September 8, 2011 at 7:04 am |
  62. TaxSex

    "The man" has found a way to tax sex. Next, breathing air.

    September 9, 2011 at 7:15 pm |
  63. Carlos

    Hey Moslem... question for you.. what if there's no heaven..? besides what are you going to do with 72 girls at the same time...? good luck with that..!!!...? don't you prefer 1 good looking girl that already knows a few tricks..? hey even better good looking girl that knows a few THIS LIFE..!! Cheers..!!!

    September 10, 2011 at 8:11 pm |
  64. Muslim

    Hay Carlos..don't be so dumb. everything that is said in Qur'an is happening and will happen. Don't challenge your creator and follow the guidelines given if you want to succeed in your next life. Truth is always bitter.

    September 11, 2011 at 1:05 pm |
  65. xz

    To those who questions the math, 20 must be a typo. 20,000 more likely

    September 13, 2011 at 2:23 pm |
  66. Marc

    The holier-than-thous out there are part of the problem in our country. You do NOT have the right to tell anyone else how to live their lives. If they want to be a prostitute, where it's legal, then that's their right. That's between them and God, not YOU. Same people that think they have a right to ban abortion, and bitch about government over-reaching. They love to do it to others, but God forbid it's done to them. Must be Tea Scum. Second, sex is not sin, no where in your Bible does it say that fruitcake. Third, it bears repeating, IT'S NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS. Get your redneck noses back under your rocks, or go sleep with your sisters, leave the world to people who have more than 3 teeth.

    September 13, 2011 at 2:56 pm |
  67. Mike

    Hmmm. €288,000 divided by 20, divided by 365 doesn't fit with €6 per night. The Steueramt strikes again.

    September 14, 2011 at 11:48 am |
  68. GigiGigiK

    Bring it over here so we can tax Congress every time they screw up.

    September 19, 2011 at 4:37 am |
  69. jackson

    GiGiGiGi.....hoah...we could pay off the deficit and refund everyone every dime they've ever paid in taxes if we followed your idea...GiGi for Prez on 2012!!!

    September 19, 2011 at 9:42 pm |
  70. nagrom

    Gee in the US it is called a free trade agreement. Only middle class workers get f****d by taxes.

    September 21, 2011 at 7:59 pm |
  71. Rickote

    Up up Germany! So sad that Europe, is not only beating us with technology, alos with social freedom. Eventually I only hope we evolve here enough to se this. I'll be happy to cover my share in taxes if things are clean and happily regulated. Meanwhile, while religion and hypocrite conservative keep pushing only on the view of others, we still will have the very same business, but underground and abused by pimps, mafia, and other pests.

    September 30, 2011 at 1:31 am |
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