New York’s highest court concluded today, October 23rd, that from now on lap dances might be taxable because they do not promote culture in a community, as ballet or other artistic endeavors do.
Nite Moves was the one who filed the lawsuit in suburban Albany, arguing that fees for private dances and admission to the strip club are exempt from sales taxes. The court said that the case implies ‘significant constitutional problems’ as the state law makes no distinction between ‘highbrow dance and lowbrow dance.’
The majority of the dissenting judges said that many entertainment venues pay taxes, such as sporting events and amusement parks, and since the club failed to be included in the “dramatic or musical arts performances with the evident purpose of promoting cultural and artistic performances in local communities” it should pay taxes too.
The judges said that since ice shows, which include choreographed ice-dancing routines on music, are still not considered by lawmakers as qualifying, than so should performances of women gyrating on a pole to music, no matter how athletic or artistic their moves are.
“The majority implies that since the Legislature did not exclude from the entertainment tax other lowbrow forms of entertainment, such as baseball games and animal acts … it would not have wanted to exclude pole dancing; but the issue is not what the Legislature would have wanted to do, but what it did,” said Judge Robert Smith.