A New York strip club is hoping to dodge a huge tax bill by claiming its lap dances are works of art.
Nite Moves argues it’s so-called ‘couch sales’ are ‘live dramatic or musical arts performances’ equivalent to theatre or ballet.
Andrew McCullough, an attorney for the club, said: “If you saw what these dancers do, you’d be saying: “It’s not the Bolshoi, but it’s good”.”
The strip club’s bid to be spared a £78,000 tax bill is being backed by a cultural anthropologist who has studied exotic dance and visited Nite Moves.
Arguments were heard at the city’s Court of Appeals this week and a decision on whether the club should be charged tax is due next month.
“It’s definitely a form of art,” one dancer at Nite Moves told the AP news agency. “Some girls are up there practising for hours when nobody’s in here.”
But state solicitor Robert Goldfard argued: “If the women kept their clothes on, no one would be coming to this bar for the dance performances.”
A ruling in favour of Nite Moves could spark a wave of tax claims from the estimated 200 adult nightclubs across the state.
by Arthur Furrowfield