Support The Arts…One Dollar At A Time
Recently New York Administrative Law Judge Catherine M. Bennett rendered a ruling that classified pole dancing as a dramatic or artistic performance. So, in New York at least, pole dancing is now a “dramatic art.”
From a pragmatic standpoint this means that strip clubs offering pole dancing – I assume the bulk of them – qualify for the “dramatic arts” New York state sales tax exemption under New York state Tax Law §1105(f)(1):
The tax imposed by this subdivision shall not apply to: The tax imposed by this subdivision shall not apply to:
Any admission charge where such admission charge is in excess of ten cents to or for the use of any place of amusement in the state, except charges for admission to race tracks, boxing, sparring or wrestling matches or exhibitions which charges are taxed under any other law of this state, or dramatic or musical arts performances, or live circus performances, or motion picture theaters, and except charges to a patron for admission to, or use of, facilities for sporting activities in which such patron is to be a participant, such as bowling alleys and swimming pools. For any person having the permanent use or possession of a box or seat or a lease or a license, other than a season ticket, for the use of a box or seat at a place of amusement, the tax shall be upon the amount for which a similar box or seat is sold for each performance or exhibition at which the box or seat is used or reserved by the holder, licensee or lessee, and shall be paid by the holder, licensee or lessee.
So now, under Judge Bennett’s ruling, the cover charge for a strip club is exempt from New York stat sales tax. I expect that this will provide a needed economic stimulus to the New York strip clubs, which are mostly “small businesses” and as likely to be suffering under this economy as any other.
This may “play well” with Obama and his Liberals’ tax cuts that were part of the Stimulus. The $8 / week extra that these cuts add to paychecks seem well suited for use at strip clubs. ðŸ˜‰
Judge Bennett was quite clear on her reasoning for deciding that, under New York state tax laws, pole dancing qualified for the “dramatic arts” exemption from state sales tax:
The fact someone may believe that this entertainment is not appropriate for any audience is not the issue. The fact that the dancers remove all or part of their costume during the performances, that the dance routines are seductive in nature and titillation of a patron is the outcome, simply does not render such dance routines as something less than choreographed performances, or remove them from the exception to the general rule of Tax Law §1105(f)(1).
— Administrative Law Judge Catherine M. Bennett
Via the New York Law Journal
New York’s Department of Taxation and Finance spokesman Thomas Bergin said Bennett’s decision will probably be appealed to the Tax Appeals Tribunal – a statement that had to expected by everyone no matter what their ethical and moral views pole dancing and strip clubs are; it’s only logical that the Department of Taxation would appeal any ruling that reduced the state government’s tax income.