Appeals court says pole dancing isn't tax exempt in New York
Pole dancers might be athletic and artistic but their performances don't qualify for tax-exempt status under New York law, a state court ruled Tuesday.
The owners of Nite Moves, an Albany strip club, sought to have pole dancing and private lap dances qualified as tax exempt because revenue collected from "dramatic or musical arts performances" isn't taxable under state law.
But the Court of Appeals, the state's highest court, decided against the club in a 4-3 ruling.
"Surely it was not irrational . . . to conclude that a club presenting performances by women gyrating on a pole," the majority wrote in an unsigned memorandum.
In dissent, Judge Robert Smith said that deciding the artistic merits "is not the function of a tax collector."
Andrew McCullough, the club's attorney, said he is considering appealing the decision to the U.S. Supreme Court.