DC Council to lay tax on yoga studios and other fitness businesses

The issue of how to treat yoga studios under the DC tax code has come to the forefront again:

Washington City Paper Yogis Go Mad Over Proposed Yoga Sales Tax
Although the proposal doesn’t just target fitness studios, the tax has been dubbed the “Yoga Tax” by people who oppose it. The Council gave preliminary approval this week to charge the city’s 5.75 percent sales tax on services like health clubs and tanning studios that previously haven’t been subject to it. The sales tax would also extend to bowling alleys and billiard parlors, barber and beautician services, carpet and upholstery cleaning, car washes, construction contractors, and mini-storage.

Since this measure is part of the annual budgeting process for 2015, the time frame is going to make it hard to alter the decisions already made by the DC Council. Many critics say that the measure is a tax on healthy behavior, but yoga studios are still businesses that are subject to other Federal, state and local taxes. Mayor Vince Gray is a lame duck and has already lost a lot of his pet initiatives so he could not influence this decision one way or the other.

There was also an article in the Washington Post. Here’s the Facebook page of the campaign against the new “yoga” levy.