Taxing Dancers

David Paulin
Nite Moves, a strip club in the Albany, New York, area, has waged a legal battle since 2005 against the state's Department of Taxation and Finance over whether its private "lap dances" ought to be exempt from sales tax -- just like ballet performances and Broadway shows are, a status intended by the legislature to promote cultural and artistic performances. On Tuesday, New York's highest court finally weighed into the legal row, narrowly ruling that lap dances are indeed taxable because, among other reasons, they don't qualify as "choreographed performances" as do Broadway shows and ballet performances. The Court of Appeals, furthermore, noted in its 4-3 decision that "women gyrating on a pole to music, however artistic or athletic their practiced moves are, was also not a qualifying performance entitled to exempt status." (You can read the entire decision, here.)  The court's majority was divided between two Republicans and two Democrats, and the dissenting judges included...(Read Full Post)

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