The City of New York has been known to be a home of the arts and a house to many young professionals and those who live their lives in the fast lane. New York has been the breaking ground to many new things and those who are categorized to be the unconventional and the unusual. And now, its courts have been flooded with the issue on whether or not nude dancing should be considered as an art enough to make its business houses exempted from tax accountability. In a report from Fox News, a question was raised: Is nude dancing an art? New York’s highest court will consider legal arguments by a strip club on whether it is and deserves a state tax exemption as such.
According to Fox News, a club called Nite Moves claims that nude dances are exempt under state tax law as “live dramatic or musical arts performances.” The exemption also applies to theater or ballet. The club is relying on testimony from a cultural anthropologist who has studied exotic dance and visited Nite Moves. USA Today similarly wrote an article about the story saying that the club fought the state Division of Taxation’s assessment, arguing that the dancers provided “dramatic or musical arts performances” that are “choreographic” in nature, which are tax-exempt under state law. ABC News quotes Nite Moves’s attorney W. Andrew McCullough, saying that admission fees and lap dances at the club should be freed of state sales taxes under an exemption that applies to “dramatic or musical arts performances.” He said that lap dancing is an art form and that, in any case, the state is not qualified to make such determinations, and that making such distinctions would be a violation of the constitutional right to freedom of expression.
New York is yet to decide regarding the issue, but if it decides in favor of its tax exemption, the City will set another precedent that other cities will be influenced to follow.