PHILADELPHIA (AP) – Three strip clubs in Philadelphia are fighting a city effort to tax lap dances, which they say would cost them as much as $1.5 million.
The city’s Tax Review Board will decide in the next several weeks whether Club Risque, Cheerleaders and Delilah’s will owe an “amusement tax.” The levy is often paid on tickets to ballgames and concerts, but there’s an exemption for “legitimate contemporary American theater.”
The Philadelphia Inquirer reports lawyers for the clubs argued before a tax panel Tuesday that exotic dancing is a theatrical performance. They commissioned a report from Queens College professor Katherine Profeta, who found the performances fell into the “multi-focal, immersive theater experience.”
Deputy City Solicitor Marissa O’Connell argued the businesses had never before described themselves as theaters.