Sunday, 09 Sep 2012
If a customer at a strip club pays an employee for a private lap-dance, do her gyrations constitute a "live dramatic or musical arts performance" under state law?
That question lies at the heart of a tax dispute between Nite Moves club and the tax authorities which has reached the New York Appeals Court.
State solicitor Robert Goldfard argues: 'If the women kept their clothes on, no one would be coming to this bar for the dance performances,' so it cannot be art, and the "couch sales", as payments to them are known, are therefore not tax-exempt.
A lawyer for the club, however, says: "If you saw what these dancers do, you'd be saying, 'It's not the Bolshoi, but it's good'."
A cultural anthropologist is also giving evidence in support of the club's claim that they ought not to be spared a $125,000 tax bill