the four needed to move the measure out of committee when it comes up for consideration Tuesday.
``Legislators don't want to deal with it,'' said Guy Rocha, a Nevada historian and former state archivist. ``It's so charged politically, they just want it to go away.''
The issue also has some strange, er, bedfellows in opposition.
``Religious conservatives will line up with liberals and feminists who see this as demeaning to women,'' Rocha said. ``Some don't want to give prostitution any legitimacy, even though it's legal in many rural counties.''
The Mustang Ranch east of Reno was licensed as Nevada's first legal brothel in 1971. Brothels now operate in outlying areas around the state, paying local jurisdictions assorted fees that can be a significant portion of their budgets.
Coffin said the state is desperate to find money for essential services, and lawmakers could impose a batch of new or higher taxes this year to keep programs afloat.
About 30 percent of the state's general fund budget comes from taxes on the gambling industry, and lawmakers are considering increasing taxes on liquor and cigarettes. The state also imposes a 10 percent tax on admissions, drinks and food at various entertainment venues, including strip clubs, leaving Coffin to wonder why prostitution is not included.
Taxing brothels has been discussed for years, but the industry's lobbyist in Carson City, George Flint, doubts that it will happen.