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Da Vinci’s “Mona Lisa,” Michelangelo’s “David,” and a lap dance from some stripper named “Cinnamon” could all soon have something in common — each could be considered “art” here in the Empire State.
Let’s rephrase that: they could all be tax-exempt “art” in the Empire State.
New York’s highest court is scheduled today to hear arguments about whether lap dances should be considered an “art” form worthy of tax-exempt status under state law.
The case appears to be little more than a creative way for an Upstate strip club to get out of paying taxes. Yet, it’s made its way all the way to Court of Appeals.
In 2005, an audit revealed that Nite Moves, a strip joint near Albany, hadn’t paid $124,000 in taxes. The tax bill, tax officials say, was for both non-alcoholic drinks as well as private “couch services” (read: lap dances).
Under state law, “live dramatic or musical arts performances” like ballet have tax-exempt status. While lap dances are technically a “performance,” it’s a slightly less-refined form of dance than, say, any other form of “dance.”
Here’s how lap dances work: you pay a stripper roughly 25 bucks, depending on the strip club. She takes you to a dimly-lit backroom, puts you on a couch, pulls out her ta-tas and grinds her ass into your crotch for about 10 minutes. At its completion, you thank her, do your best to get the glitter and stripper stank off you, and hope your wife doesn’t find out. There is nothing artistic about it.
That said, an administrative law judge previously ruled in favor of Nite Moves’ asinine claim that lap dances are art.
From the Associated Press:
An administrative law judge previously agreed with Nite Moves, saying that “the fact that the dancers remove all or part of their costume … simply does not render such dance routines as something less than choreographed performances.”
As we mentioned, claiming that lap dances are “art” seems like nothing more than a creative way for a strip club to avoid paying taxes. We want to know what you think, though: are lap dances “art?