Gentlemen's Club Attorney Responds To Lap Dance Tax - KMSP-TV

Gentlemen's Club Attorney Responds To Lap Dance Tax

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PHILADELPHIA -

It may be a brass pole to you. But for the city of Philadelphia, this might as well be gold.

"I was astounded," said Attorney George Bochetto.

George Bochetto is an attorney for two South Philadelphia Gentlemen's Clubs: Cheerleaders and Club Risque.

That was his reaction when his clients got these little doozies in the mail.

Tax bills. One for $488,000. The other for $341,000.

Back taxes for lap dances.

"To then all of the sudden come in for five years and say for five years you owe us hundreds of thousands of dollars...it's absurd," says Bochetto.

The bills are for the city's 40-year-old five percent amusement tax, Typically assessed on movie tickets, concerts and sporting events. Taxes on cover club charges are standard, but an extra tax on lap dances has never been assessed until now. Critics call it a money grab.

"That's what an amusement tax is. You go to a baseball game you pay on the admission fee. You don't pay on the cotton candy you eat inside," says Bochetto.

According to Bochetto the city just estimated how many lap dances were given over the past five years. At least two gentlemen's clubs are appealing to the tax review board later this month.

"The city of Philadelphia said we've had this amusement tax we've had hanging around for 40 years maybe we can apply it to a new certain situation," concludes Bochetto.

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