Tax Law

New York Court of Appeals Considers Whether Lap Dancing Is Art, and Tax Exempt


Is lap dancing tax-exempt under New York law? That’s the question the state’s highest court considered Wednesday.

Nite Moves, a suburban Albany strip club, maintains that admission fees and dances should be covered by the New York law that exempts “dramatic or musical art performances” from taxes, the Associated Press reports.

The state disagrees, and is seeking $400,000 in back taxes from the club. Private, 3-minute lap dances at Nite Moves cost $20, the AP reports.

“What we’re saying is the state of New York doesn’t get to be a dance critic,” W. Andrew McCullough, Nite Moves’ lawyer, told the court, after Court of Appeals Judge Eugene Pigott Jr. noted that the dancers are untrained.

A ruling is expected next month. Bradley Shafer, a lawyer who represents New York City’s Hustler club on a similar matter, says other cases are pending in Pennsylvania, Texas and Nevada.

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