Super Lawyers
William C. Altreuter

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Frankly, I think this analogy fails: "If ice shows presenting pairs ice dancing performances, with intricately choreographed dance moves precisely arranged to musical compositions, were not viewed by the Legislature as "dance" entitled a tax exemption, surely it was not irrational for the Tax Tribunal to conclude that a club presenting performances by women gyrating on a pole to music, however artistic or athletic their practiced moves are, was also not a qualifying performance entitled to exempt status."

Ice shows! Sorry, but if your performance includes people wearing Mickey Mouse costumes it is neither artistic nor a sport. I'm with Judge Smith on this one: "Thus, the only question in the case is whether the admission charges that the State seeks to tax were paid for dance performances. There is not the slightest doubt that they were. That is proved by the video introduced into evidence before the Tribunal, and the testimony of two witnesses, an executive of petitioner and a dancer, with personal knowledge. The people who paid these admission charges paid to see women dancing. It does not matter if the dance was artistic or crude, boring or erotic. Under New York's Tax Law, a dance is a dance."

| Comments:
Reminds me of a funny story...Many years ago, when the Town I served was on the brink of breaking up, a very sleazy gentleman who also seems to have been a very good lawyer came to our Planning Board with an airtight plan. His clients, who were an untraceable corporation, had found a tiny corner of our Town where they proposed to build a "night club". We had what we thought were some really good ordinances to preclude such businesses as strip clubs and gambling joints but these folks had found a spot that was not covered by our ordinances.

Our Planning Board, threatened with a law suit that we this lawyer assured us, would loose. Our Town lawyer checked and that was true.

Just about that time our Town split in two and our part ended up with this edifce in our part. We couldn't stop them from building it but we could strongly enforce every bit of our building code so the building was as well built, sturdy and fire and hurricane proof as a building could be. It was a very costly building. We also managed, on the advice of the County Attorney, to mount a vigorous campaign within the larger community to convince the County Commissioners to pass some very strong laws pertaining to such establishments throughout the County ( no touching the performers, separate tip jars, no lap dancing, etc. And an 11 PM closing time. The strip joint did not last and the building stood empty for several years until the Community College bought it for a satellite college building which just opened.

Right now, we are using part of the main auditorium as an Early Voting Polling Place. It's the first time it's been used this way and lots of early voters are coming out, not only to do their civic duty, but to get inside the place for the first time since it was built. We who serve the voters there like to tell the people that we are "pole" workers.

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