The headlines promise a sexy story — a state resorting to the sale of sex toys to fill a budget shortfall.
And there's truth to it — Kansas is getting money from the auctioning of adult toys to recoup some taxes owed to the state. But the whole thing needs some explanation.
So, an adult store chain called Bang owes the state of Kansas around $160,000 in taxes. To recoup that money, the state is allowing for the sale of the store's products. And that includes lingerie and, well, anything else you'd expect to find in an adult store.
The chosen auctioning business is Equip-Bid. It's the largest — and definitely the most unique — auction the group has ever held.
EQUIP-BID CEO ANDY O'HANLON VIA KSHB: "We've done hundreds of auctions over the years. But never this type of adult content. ... This isn't something you normally would do or encounter on a daily basis that you could buy online in an auction format."
And in case you were wondering — any money the auction makes beyond the $160,000 or so it's due goes back to the owner of Bang.
But it's also become something of a political battle. Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback is a Republican who cut taxes during his tenure, and the state's Senate Democratic leader Anthony Hensley is arguing those cuts forced the state to get "in the porn business."
But an editorial in The Topeka Capital-Journal notes, "There is nothing personal about the auction, it's strictly business."
And in truth — the state has often seized property to collect money owed. Though we can't blame anyone for the interest in the story given the inventory.