BONN, GERMANY – Prostitutes in this city now have to “feed the meter” if they want to walk the streets.
The German city of Bonn introduced a parking meter for prostitutes Monday, requiring street sex workers to pay $8 in tax per night to carry on their trade.
Bonn is the first German city to introduce the meter system. It already taxes women working in brothels (and some wives working at home). City officials say the tax will raise $4 million annually from about 3,700 women in the trade.
Prostitutes will pay the fee by feeding coins into the meter and receive an automatically printed ticket, which they must show on demand to tax inspectors. No ticket, no selling your body for money.
Sex workers are only allowed on one street in the city.
Last year, authorities erected six parking bays, surrounded by wooden screens on three sides, permitting clients to meet prostitutes without being watched from other parked cars.
Like parking meters, the machines also tell users the times of day when a ticket is necessary: in this case between the hours of 8:15pm and 6am, Monday to Sunday.
There will be a new kind of “Meter Maid” walking around the streets of Bonn. Some member of the city council had the idea of hiring Meter Maids that not only enforce the Prostitute Meters, but also service citizens.
“Two jobs in one,” said Deputy Mayor, Hoff Mertz. ”We may also hire some Meter Men to ensure that the prostitutes are feeding the meters. If they are not… the Meter Men will impose fines.”
The city’s street prostitutes have already been limited to certain areas, following protests from local residents. Six designated, closed off parking spaces have been installed in one area near a brothel where customers can take prostitutes in their cars.
“This is an act of tax fairness,” she said. “Prostitutes in fixed establishments such as brothels and sauna clubs already pay tax.” She added that with many street prostitutes foreign born previous attempts to tax them had floundered on a widespread inability to comprehend a German income tax form.
Bonn is also considering installing Heroin Meters. Heroin dealers will have to “feed the meter” if they want to sell their product on the streets of Bonn.
Germany is always leading the way when it comes to prostitution and drugs.