By Mike Dunn
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Mayor Nutter is not taking his loss in the great ‘lap dance tax battle’ sitting down. The Administration has decided to appeal the Tax Review Board’s ruling that such a tax is out of bounds.READ MORE: Philadelphia Mother Pleading To Find Driver Who Struck Son In Hit-And-Run, 'Guardian Angel' Who Found Him
The Nutter Administration is trying to slap the city’s amusement tax on the lap dances performed at three strip clubs, billing them hundreds of thousands of dollars in back taxes, interest and penalties.
Last month the city’s Tax Review Board — made up of mayoral appointees — shot down the idea (see related story). They ruled that the amusement tax law is so vague that it can only be reasonably applied to a club’s cover charge, not to back room activities.READ MORE: Philadelphia's Evil Genius Beer Company Giving Out Free Beers To Those Getting Vaccinated In May
But the battle goes on. Attorney George Bochetto, representing two of the clubs, is fuming, “I view it as nothing but a strong arm attempt by the city administration to try to economically plow under these particular establishments with the threat of ongoing litigation — and the legal fees that are incurred in that — to try to bring them to their knees!”
Club Risque and Cheerleaders, represented by Bochetto, faced bills totaling nearly $900,000. Delilah’s, represented by attorney Stephen Howard, was assessed more than $630,000 in back taxes, interest and penalties for lap dances.MORE NEWS: Friday Night In New Jersey Looks Like Something Out Of 2019 As Restrictions Eased
The mayor’s top attorney, Solicitor Shelley Smith, says the city will appeal because the amusement tax law does not exclude activities at such clubs.