A nearly split court decided that lap dancers should not get a tax break. The Los Angeles Times reported that in a decision that was 4-3, New York state's court of appeals ruled that lap dances are not exempt from state taxes because they do not" promote cultural or artistic performances in local communities."
The court ruled that Nite Moves strip club in Albany, New York was not exempt from paying taxes in the cover charges and income that lap dancers made. Judges Carmen Beauchamp Ciparick, Victoria Graffeo, Eugene Pigott Jr. and Theodore Jones Jr. wrote according to the Los Angeles Times, "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."
Nite Movers went through with a lawsuit and argued that its fees for admission and lap dancing should be exempt from sales taxes.
Forbes stated that Nite Movers had "assessed $124,000 of back sales taxes on the cover charges and lap dance fees the club collected from customers."
Nite Movers said they should be exempt from sales taxes because strippers are dancers and it should fall under the exemption of ""dramatic or musical arts performances," Forbes reported.
Some judges like Robert S. Smith however was opposed to the tax and said to the Los Angeles Times, that the the "distinction between highbrow dance and lowbrow dance" has "significant constitutional problems."
Forbes reported that Night Moves failed to prove that lap dancing qualified as a "choreographed performances, a necessary standard for exemption as a musical arts performance."
Smith added according to Forbes, "The people who paid these admission charges paid to see women dancing. It does not matter if the dance was artistic or crude, boring or erotic. Under New York's Tax Law, a dance is a dance."