San Diego Strippers Say Fee Hike Makes It Hard for Them to Make Ends Meet

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San Diego strippers and strip club owners are lobbying city officials to lower their annual permit fees, which they say are much higher than other cities and can’t be justified in terms of how many hours police typically spend monitoring the clubs.

A file photo shows a club in San Diego. (Credit: The San Diego Union-Tribune)
A file photo shows a club in San Diego. (Credit: The San Diego Union-Tribune)

They say the fees, which are scheduled to rise on July 1 to $388 for a dancer and $5,830 for a club operator, encourage women to shift toward unregulated websites where they’re more vulnerable to prostitution and human trafficking.

Charging high fees is also shortsighted, they say, contending that dwindling business in the clubs is costing the city much more in sales tax and other revenues than the annual permit fees collected.

“No other city charges fees this high, or even at all,” said Debra Seavello, a stripper at Expose in Kearny Mesa. “Ten years ago the fees were half as much, and it was a lot easier to make ends meet.”

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