|Pole dancer illustration|
(Scroll down for video) The highest court in New York, ruled in a split decision that lap dances are not a form of art and are subject to taxes, according to court documents.
The state's highest court, in a 4 to 3 decision, ruled that the dance should be treated like any other form of entertainment, from football to ice dancing shows, when it comes to taxes.
Lap dances in what the Court of Appeals called private rooms in strip clubs, do not meet the standard tax exemption granted by the State Legislature to certain representations of dramatic or musical arts.
The court upheld a state tax tribunal, imposing the tax on an area club in Albany, after the tribunal rejected the argument from the club that the exotic scenery and couch dances qualify as an artistic presentations. The club was seeking tax free status on revenues received from lap dances.
The court ruled that it is not unreasonable for the tax tribunal to reject any claims of tax exemption of businesses submitting to be classified as art dance.
"If ice dancers who dance to precisely prepared musical compositions were not seen by the State Legislature as a dance with a right to tax exemption, surely it was not unreasonable for the Tax tribunal to conclude that a club presenting performances by women rotating on a pole to music as art, however skilled they may be,” the majority of judges wrote in a decision published on Tuesday.
However, the three dissenting judges said that the majority decision "makes a distinction among dances not found in the governing statute and raises important constitutional issues."