NY State Court Rules Paying For Lap Dances Is Not Tax Free

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Adelle Platon / October 25, 2012

Strip clubs may wanna ease up on the bands that make her dance.

A ruling in a New York State Court of Appeals says payment for lap dances is not tax exempt because they do not promote cultural or artistic performances in local communities.”A club presenting performances of women gyrating on a pole to music, however artistic or athletic their practiced moves are, was also not a qualifying performance,” wrote the judges in a 4-3 decision that denied Albany’s Nite Moves strip club a tax break.

A court filing states that the business owed more than $124,000 in taxes, L.A. Times reports. Most of the club’s revenue came from the $15 it collected on every $25 private dance, with the remaining $10 going into the dancer’s pocket. Nite Moves charged guests $10 for entry into the venue.

To support their ruling, the judges pointed out that other forms of entertainment, such as baseball games, carnivals, ice shows and animal acts, are not exempt from taxes in New York. “The people who paid these admission charges paid to see women dancing,” said Judge Robert S. Smith. “It does not matter if the dance was artistic or crude, boring or erotic. Under New York’s Tax Law, a dance is a dance.”