When you get a lap dance, do you ever catch yourself thinking, "gee whiz, this really is a fantastic dramatic and/or musical art performance"? Because according to a NY state appeals court, nobody thinks that way—the court has ruled that private lap dances are not artistic performances, and are therefore not tax exempt. Try telling that to Shakira, Rihanna, and (NSFW) Nomi Malone!
"The record reflects that the clubs' dancers are not required to have any formal dance training and...often rely upon videos or suggestions from other dancers to learn their craft," the judge wrote in the ruling. Nite Moves, an adult "juice bar" on Route 9 in Latham, NY has been fighting an audit since 2005; state officials found that the club owed nearly $125,000 in sales tax on door admission charges and private lap dance sales.
But the club argued that its dancers were "dramatic or musical arts performances" not subject to sales tax; in NY, a sales tax must be paid on admission to or for the use of any place of amusement except for dramatic or musical arts performances. Nite Moves lawyer, Andrew McCullough, told Reuters that the company plans to appeal the decision: "We brought in the foremost expert in the field. She is the one in this country who has made a complete and detailed study of the art of exotic dance and if they are not going to believe her I don't know who you believe."