Club owners: lap dancing deserves tax status as “art”

by Walter Olson on September 14, 2012

Quite a lot of tax money is at stake: New York is seeking more than $400,000 in back taxes and penalties from one establishment alone. But the broad construction of artistic expression that judges understandably apply in censorship cases under the First Amendment need not carry over to a less constitutionally fraught area such as the application of tax categories. “Can we get past the idea that somehow this is the Bolshoi?” asked one judge. [Naomi Schaefer Riley, New York Post, quotes me]


1 Jesse Spurway 09.14.12 at 8:49 am

once you start down the path making tax loopholes it can be an interesting journey. once you start down the path of trying to define art, you are lost.

2 Jim Collins 09.14.12 at 9:05 am

It would be kind of fun to be the Judge on this one. Case research could take on a whole new meaning.

3 wfjag 09.14.12 at 12:47 pm

“Can we get past the idea that somehow this is the Bolshoi?”

You mean you’re not supposed to try to stick Dollar Bills down the Tutus of the girls doing the Dance of the Swans?

And, what about the guys? They always looked to me like they’re carrying around a change purse in the front of their tights. Always figured they’d want something slipped down there.

This culture stuff is so confusing.

4 David Schwartz 09.14.12 at 6:37 pm

Apparently art that appeals to rich people should get better tax treatment than art that appeals to poor people. Maybe political speech favorable to the government can have better tax treatment than political speech that is critical.

5 asdfasdf 09.14.12 at 10:02 pm

It’s a lot more artistic than 98% of prime time network TV, that’s for sure.

6 Reuven 09.15.12 at 12:18 am

I dunno. It seems like Art to me.

7 Richard Nieporent 09.15.12 at 11:03 am

This is clearly a case for Justice Potter Stewart.

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