Court: Sorry, Lap Dances Aren't Art
It was a nice try, but New York strip clubs will have to pay taxes
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Oct 23, 2012 5:11 PM CDT
Lap dances aren't art, says a New York court.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – Lap dances are taxable because they don't promote culture in a community the way ballet or other artistic endeavors do, New York's highest court concluded today in a sharply divided ruling. The court split 4-3, with the dissenting judges saying there's no distinction in state law between "highbrow dance and lowbrow dance." The lawsuit was filed by Nite Moves in suburban Albany, which was arguing that fees for admission to the strip club and for private dances should be exempt from sales taxes.

The court majority said taxes apply to many entertainment venues, such as amusement parks and sporting events. It ruled the club failed to prove it qualifies for the exemption for "dramatic or musical arts performances" that was adopted by the state legislature "with the evident purpose of promoting cultural and artistic performances in local communities." In the dissent, Judge Robert Smith wrote that it was a question of what the law and regulations actually say. The law defines a "dramatic or musical arts admission charge" for "a live dramatic, choreographic or musical performance," he noted. Choreography means dance, and clearly the women at Nite Moves dance, he wrote. His argument fell one vote short, however.

Copyright 2016 Newser, LLC. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. AP contributed to this report.

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Showing 3 of 29 comments
apocalypso
Oct 24, 2012 11:30 PM CDT
Yet churches, which are proven to be nothing but flimsy covers for pedophile-rings, retain their gratuitous tax-exempt status because they have filled the government with their brain-dead cult-members to ensure preferential treatment. Apparently eroticism between consenting adults is still dirtier than molesting children. The America we get is the America we deserve.
lvan
Oct 24, 2012 10:49 AM CDT
Not surprised. Laws in "so called" democratic state of New York are anything but. They could declare martial law and people wont notice.
DougMasters
Oct 24, 2012 7:00 AM CDT
Yeah I get it fellas, it isn't the fucking ballet. I am not a lap dance guy and I have never been in a strip club, ever. But dancing is dancing and you can't say one is protected and the other isn't. What, Chris Rock has to be taxed differently than Dana Carvey ? Bottom line, strip clubs do have an effect on culture, just not an effect that YOU ALL like.... I say tough shit, deal with it. Nanny state assholes.