Philadelphia Strip Clubs Face Double 'Entertainment' Tax

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Though Philadelphia failed at raising taxes on soda and cigarettes, they may have found a way to make up for the loss by slapping a huge tax on strip clubs.

According to the city, a lap dance is subject to their 5 percent amusement tax, the same tax that is applied to movie tickets.

While many citizens are applauding the tax charge, the clubs are less than thrilled.

Lawyer George Bochetto said it is "financial desperation," as the city is trying to tax the same thing twice.

Two clubs that are facing the tax burden are Club Risque and Cheerleaders, both of which Bochetto represents.

Cheerleaders owes $486,482, while Club Risque owes $320,538. The town "issued an assessment going back five years" plus interest and penalties on lap dances.

"It's over the top. Unbelievable," Bochetto said. 

Mark McDonald, the mayor's spokesman, said they are unable to comment on the litigation.

While strip clubs already pay an amusement tax in addition to business taxes, this new tax applies only to lap dances.

Bochetto says it is like taxing an amusement park ticket and then taxing the cotton candy a person buys inside as well.

A meeting of the board is scheduled for July 23, where it is likely the decision of double taxing strip clubs will be appealed to Common Pleas Court.

Sources: Philly, FOX