Mean New York Lady Judge Tells Strip Club Lap Dances Are Taxable
Sorry, New York City strip club aficionados, but you are probably going to be shelling out a bit more coin to naked ladies who pretend to like you for a few moments, because the New York State Division of Tax Appeals recently ruled that lap dances are not artistic performances and are therefore taxable.
Let’s break it down for you lawsplainer style.
So the Hustler Club is what used to quaintly be called a gentlemen’s club in New York City, but you probably already knew that, didn’t you? So you are of course unsurprised to learn that at such a location, ladies take off their clothes for you when you give them money, and then they do some dances on you or near you. Lucky you! However, while you watch said dancing and sit on your hands so you don’t “accidentally” touch the naked ladies and get unceremoniously tossed out on your ass, you are probably not thinking “wow, that is a choreography performance of unsurpassed agility and grace” because you are busy thinking with your dick, metaphorical or otherwise, and your dick does not give one fuck about choreography.
The owners of the Hustler Club, however, decided to take a flier on the idea that the government might agree that lap dances were “live dramatic choreographic performances” because those are not taxable in New York, probably because New York is run by mushy-headed liberals who think that people shouldn’t pay sales tax on art. Commies.
Funnily, the New York State tax people did not agree that when Cherry or Typhanee or Northrup-Grumman grinded on your private parts, you lucky lonely SOB, she was performing an artistic dance routine. Why? Because per New York State Tax Appeals Judge Donna Gardiner, what the Hustler Club is selling is fap fodder, not art.
This case involves charges for admission into a place of amusement, plain and simple. This adult entertainment establishment provides a service to its patrons that essentially boils down to performers who remove their clothing and create an aura of sexual fantasy. I find that this service is delivered by means of a striptease act that incorporates some elements of dance and certainly choreography. The plain facts of this case have been obfuscated in an attempt to characterize these performances in such a way as to take advantage of an exemption available to live dramatic, choreographic performances. However, the service provided by the entertainers at the Hustler Club is sexual fantasy, not dance.
The focus of the imposition of sales tax here is on the admission charges paid for entry into the private rooms and for lap dances. The movements, whether dance moves or other choreography, that comprise an entertainer’s routine and that appeal to the patron, are ancillary to the ultimate service sold, which is sexual fantasy.
That was a lot of words to say “pay up, suckas” but that is just how judges roll. Also, too, it gets worse for Hustler because their system of shoddy bookkeeping combined with trying to screw over employees basically meant that the judge couldn’t easily break out what was taxable and what wasn’t, so she made an entire ginormous pile of naked lady related money taxable. Here’s how: In order for you to get your dancing lady at Hustler Club, you buy something called Beaver Bucks. These Beaver Bucks let you buy a lady and some other things throughout your evening. However, when those ladies of your evening go to redeem their Beaver Bucks for actual money from the club at the end of the night, they’re paid something completely random.
Some people redeemed their Beaver Bucks at one rate, some at entirely another. In its accounting books, the club just dumped all the Beaver Buck money within the same taxable category, and never broke out when people used Beaver Bucks for drinks, ladies, tips. The club didn’t do a good job explaining the breakout to the judge, so since she couldn’t tell what was spent on what, every Beaver Buck the club sold was taxable, resulting in a cool $2 million owed, a $2 million which will certainly be passed along to you, the strip club consumer.
If you are a conservative nutter sort, this decision must be head-splody, because on one hand, people have to pay more for their base slutty impulses, which you love, but on the other hand, Obama’s America is taxing you to death, which you hate. Check in with your other irrationally angry friends to see which side of this debate you want to end up on, while the rest of us dejectedly dig into the couch cushions hoping to find enough extra money to cover the tax hit on our next strip club visit.