Philly continues pursuit of elusive lap dance tax

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Philadelphia officials will go to court with its claim that strip clubs should pay a tax on lap dances and other inside entertainment. 

Owners of Club Risque and Cheerleaders Gentleman’s Club are upset that the city is appealing the tax review board ruling that the current regulations are vague and apply only to cover charge to enter their clubs, said attorney George Bochetto.

“The fact of the matter is they don’t have a snowball’s chance in hell of prevailing. It’s perversion of the statute, plain and simple,” he said. “That’s what the tax appeal board said and I fully expect the courts will say that as well.”

Bochetto said it appears the city is pushing the issue in search of a settlement, which club owners aren’t ready to do.

“It’s an unforgivable waste of the taxpayers’ money to be pursuing the clubs on this kind of a silly issue,” he said. “It would be funny if there wasn’t so much money involved.”

The city believes it has a strong case in its attempt to have tax regulations applied evenly, said Mark McDonald, spokesman for Mayor Michael Nutter.

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