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Here’s a legal tidbit that you might find interesting. Surprise, surprise but lap dances aren’t “dramatical or musical art performances” that qualify as an exemption from New York State sales tax.

In a pretty close (4-3) ruling the New York State Court of Appeals decided that despite its entertainment value (uh-hum) exotic dancing does not qualify as “dramatic or musical arts performances” sufficient to permit it to be exempt from sales tax. The petitioner sought to have the court overturn a tax court ruling that was affirmed by the appellate court. The petitioner, owner of an adult “juice bar” in the Albany, New York area was trying to assert that lap dancing should be part of the exemption that the Legislature intended when it stated that “dramatic or musical arts performances” were not subject to sales tax. Now the purpose of the exemption as stated by the Legislature was to promote cultural and artistic performances, and while there are those that might disagree with me, I don’t think that lap dancing was what was going through their minds when they crafted that language. I could however be very wrong — you never know.

Perhaps the problem with the argument is that the law being what the law is, the petitioner was required to demonstrate (or bears the burden to show) that the fees constituted admission charges “for performances that were dance routines qualifying as choreographed performance”. The Court of Appeals determined that the petitioner and its expert witness (there really is an expert witness out there for everything I have learned over my years as an attorney) failed to present any evidence depicting such performances and the expert didn’t have any personal knowledge  or observation of the “private” or lap dances that occurred at the club. That leads one to believe that had the court been provided with demonstrative evidence (and I will leave that to your imagination) perhaps the petitioner might be in a different position right now.

The dissent (those members of the court that disagreed with the majority opinion) plainly stated in their opinion that “those people that paid the admission charge paid to see women dancing. It does not matter if the dance was artistic or crude, boring or erotic.” As the dissenting judge put it plainly put it “Under New York Tax law, a dance is a dance.”

Just thought that you would find it interesting that not all law is exactly that boring.


So, for anyone who’s tried the yogurt recipe I posted the other day, here is something to go along with that yogurt. Pumpkin granola.

While Tom was away and the house was relatively empty, I went on a bit of a baking spree. I mixed up a batch of pumpkin granola from a recipe I found here on Stumbleupon and then I made these pumpkin granola bars which are also quite nice with a cup of tea.Eatingwell…livingthin posted a great pumpkin granola recipe. Such a simple thing, yet I have never tackled granola, despite my desire to do so. There has always been just one excuse after another….I don’t have the right ingredients, it will take too much time….yada, yada, yada. So, with nothing else of any moment to do, and the necessary ingredients in the cupboard I set out to make this granola.

I must digress for just a moment and say that if you haven’t been on Stumbleupon, I would definitely give it a try. You can create an account, pick your areas of interest and randomly “stumble” across websites on those topics. I have found a decent number of recipes using it and it’s also a nice way to come across websites that you might have otherwise ever found.

So…. back to the granola. Here is the recipe that I adapted from Eatingwell….living thin:

1/4 cup pumpkin puree

1/4 cup plus 2T maple syrup

1 egg yolk

2 t. pumpkin pie spice or a combination of cinnamon, ginger, cloves and nutmeg as you would use for pie totaling 2 teaspoons)

1 t. vanilla extract

1/4 t. salt

3 cups old fashioned oats — I used Bob’s Red Mill Steel cut but as long as you don’t use Quick cooking oats you should be fine

1 cup slivered almonds (you can use your nut of preference)

Preheat your oven to 275 degrees. Use parchment paper that you spray with cooking spray in a baking pan. Mine is 11 x 17.

Combine everything but the oats and nuts. Mix well. Then add oats and nuts, coating completely with the mixture.

Spread the mixture evenly in the pan and place in the oven. Stir every 15 minutes (honestly I forgot about this for the first 1/2 hour or so) and cook for about 1 hour.  The granola should be brown when you take it out of the oven. Let it cool completely in the pan and then place in your favorite air-tight granola container.

Use it with your homemade yogurt or simply as a snack.





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