Lap Dances Are Not Art, Rules Court

New York’s highest court ruled today that lap dances do not qualify for tax exemptions because they are not considered “art.”

Earlier this year an Albany strip club called Nite Moves filed a lawsuit saying that it should not not have to pay taxes on admission tickets or lap dances since its strippers were performing artful dances. The court ruled, however, that lap dances do not promote culture in a community and are not exempt from taxes.

The ruling was handed down 4-3 with the majority writing that Nite Club did not provide “dramatic or musical arts performances with the evident purpose of promoting cultural and artistic performances in local communities.”

The majority defended its decisions by saying that ice shows also do not qualify for tax exemptions.

The majority writes: “(If ice shows do not qualify, then) surely (it is) not irrational to conclude that a club presenting performances by 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.”

The minority criticized the ruling saying that the court was discriminating against “low brow” entertainment. The minority writes that it would be clearly discriminatory if the court had ruled to give The New Yorker a tax exemption but not Hustler.

Judge Robert Smith wrote that he finds strip clubs distasteful but believes that they should be provided with the same rules and regulations as other entertainment venues.

Smith writes:

“It is not clear to me why the discrimination that the majority approves in this case stands on any firmer constitutional footing.”

Do you think Strip Clubs enrich the community? Should exotic dancers be given the same tax benefits as ballet dances?