Albany strip club Nite Moves challenged a 2005 audit by claiming that lap dances were exempt from taxation, just as ballet performances are (I wrote about some of the sillier commentary inspired by the case). Their appeal wound up in front of the New York Court of Appeals, and today they ruled against the club, 4-3. From the decision*:
Clearly, it is not irrational for the Tax Tribunal to decline to extend a tax exemption to every act that declares itself a “dance performance.” If ice shows presenting pairs ice dancing performances, with intricately choreographed dance moves precisely arranged to musical compositions, were not viewed by the Legislature as “dance” entitled a tax exemption, surely it was not irrational for the Tax Tribunal to conclude that a club presenting performances by women gyrating on a pole to music, however artistic or athletic their practiced moves are, was also not a qualifying performance entitled to exempt status. To do so would allow the exemption to swallow the general tax since many other forms of entertainment not specifically listed in the regulation will claim their performances contain tax-exempt rehearsed, planned or choreographed activity.