Payments for lap dances are not exempt from state taxes because they do not promote cultural or artistic performances in local communities, the New York State Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday.
In a 4-3 decision, the state's highest court ruled that the cover charge collected by the Nite Moves strip club in Albany and the payments its lap dancers earned didn’t qualify for the state’s tax exemption for “dramatic or musical arts performances.”
If ice-skating shows with meticulously choreographed music and dance numbers aren’t exempt, then “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 Judges Carmen Beauchamp Ciparick, Victoria Graffeo, Eugene Pigott Jr. and Theodore Jones Jr. in their affirming opinion.
The business owed more than $124,000 in taxes, according to a court filing. A majority of the club’s revenue came from the $15 it collected on every $25 private dance, with the other $10 going to the dancer. Nite Moves charged $10 for guests to enter the business.