If I get a lap dance, does the club pay a tax?

Attorney W. Andrew McCullough

Works for the Albany strip club called “Night Moves”.
He told New York’s highest Court of Appeals on Wednesday that fees to get into a strip-club and and the lap dances performed there should not be liable to state sales taxes because there is an exemption applicable to “dramatic or musical arts performances.”

He claims that the state is not qualified to determine that it is not an art form and if they did so it would be a violation of the constitutional right to freedom of expression.

The states attorney is not agreeing and demanding $400,000 in back taxes it says are owed to the state from the club. That is an awesome figure for back taxes from a small club that will most likely not ever get paid.

Nearly 200 clubs in New York State

Considering that there are nearly 200 adult clubs in New York State the decision that will come down next month about this tax issue will affect all of them equally.

The judge said…

Judge Eugene Pigott Jr. said the women are hired untrained and simply “do what they do.” and “we need to get past the idea that somehow this is the Bolshoi.”

Attorney McCullough

Understood what he said but then said in response, “What we’re saying is the state of New York doesn’t get to be a dance critic.”

McCullough the club’s attorney brought forth a testimony from a person who is a cultural anthropologist who had visited the club.  The conclusion by the anthropologist was that the exotic dancing there qualifies as an art form.

Three of the seven judge panel

Did not understand that a performance has to be choreographed for it to be considered to be artistic.  The one point so far that is in favor of the attorney for the club is that Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman suggests that creative artists in particular often do improvise.


When next months decision comes about we’ll see what is decided and where it goes as far as all of the other clubs in New York State are concerned.

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