Tuesday, July 1, 2014

DC Yoga Tax Brings Out the Inner “Warrior 1” in Fitness Enthusiasts

Have you heard about the “exercise tax”?  What about the Washington, DC, yoga tax or wellness tax?  The DC Council just approved a 5.75 percent sales tax to services like gym and yoga studio memberships.

If you think that being taxed for trying to become healthier is ridiculous, you’re not alone.
Exercise is something that people should go out of our way to do - to maintain a healthy lifestyle - and it is discouraging to know that DC citizens are going to be taxed on top of what is already a taxing workout.

As reported in The Washington Post, Ed Lazere, with the DC Fiscal Policy Institute, says more Americans are now paying for services like exercise classes, and the D.C. sales tax needs to evolve.  He states, "To keep the sales tax rate as low as possible while still generating the revenue that we need to pay for schools and public safety, the best thing is for it to apply as broadly as possible.” 
DC is not alone.  He says 22 states include health clubs in their sales taxes.

"The idea that people will stop working out because they have to pay $3 a month more on their gym membership, it just doesn't make sense," Lazere said.

I disagree.  For many people, it is difficult to find the motivation to maintain a consistent, fitness regimen and adding another hurdle (pun intended) may be too much to stomach.  Not to mention, that the tax may add additional costs (both personal and via health insurance) in the future for DC residents for illness, obesity-related diseases and lost wages due to sick days. 
In my opinion the DC Council is forgetting that exercise boosts immunity, staves off certain diseases (such as diabetes, cancer and heart attacks), decreases the effects of stress and improves personal longevity.  How can you put a price on extending your life?  You can’t.

I think David A. Catania (I-At Large), a mayoral candidate in Washington, DC, said it best.  “It’s a penny-wise and pound-foolish proposition,” he said to cheers from the audience of fitness enthusiasts protesting the tax. “We are looking at increased and deferred health costs in the long run.”
I’d love to hear your thoughts.

To learn how Fitness for Health can help you improve your mind-body connection utilizing state-of-the-art fitness technology, visit www.FitnessForHealth.org or call 301-231-7138.
 

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