At least not according to a New York State Tax Board:
The gyrations of a pole dancer may be difficult to execute, but that does not make them art, a New York state tax appeals board has concluded in rejecting an administrative law judge’s finding that the exotic dancing qualifies for a sales tax exemption.
The two-member Tax Appeals Tribunal held that the routines performed nude or nearly nude by dancers at the Nite Moves club near Albany were largely learned from other dancers or on YouTube and the Internet, and are not the kind of carefully arranged and practiced patterns of movement normally equated with the art of dance.
“We question how much planning goes into attempting a dance seen on YouTube,” the tax appeals panel concluded in Matter of 677 New Loudon Corporation D/B/A Nite Moves, 821458. “The record also shows that some of the moves on the pole are very difficult, and one had best plan how to approach turning upside down on the pole to avoid injury. However, the degree of difficulty is as relevant to a ranking in gymnastics as it is dance.”
The panel overturned the finding by Administrative Law Judge Catherine M. Bennett that a “dramatic arts” exception to Tax Law §1105(f)(1) should apply to Night Moves’ liability for some $129,000 in state sales taxes on cover charges and money dancers turned back to the club for the individual dances they performed for patrons in private. The tax bill covered 2002-05.
This is a travesty, I tell you. To the barricades !