Thursday, April 24, 2014

I weigh in on one of the great issues of the day

See the news article here on a current legal controversy under the New York State sales tax.

It is probably fair to say that, while as quoted in the article it sounds as if I consider the legal issues closely balanced, in fact I would need very heavy odds to consider betting on the taxpayer.  Although I'm not a constitutional specialist, the argument for the state that I describe certainly sounds hard to challenge.  In addition, the question of fact under the applicable statute - whether "presentational dance entertainment" of a certain type should count as a "dramatic event" for purposes of a state sales tax exemption - was the subject of prior fact-finding by an administrative judge.  Hence, unless demonstrably unreasonable I would assume that it is likely to withstand further judicial review.

The reporter didn't use my joke, which was that it's a sad day when the taxpayer here (read the article to see who it is) couldn't get a state auditor named Saint-Amour to evaluate in person whether its "presentational dance entertainments" were indeed "dramatic events."

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