Will Yoga practitioners soon have their equilibrium upset?
Supporters of the plan, including Councilwoman Mary Cheh, point out that the tax is part of a restructuring plan intended to broaden the tax base and lower residents' tax rates.It's a veritable Wellness rebellion...
Cheh bridled at opponents branding the tax a "yoga tax" or a "wellness tax." "We apply a sales tax to your yoga mat is that a yoga tax? We apply the sales tax to your running shoes, my running shoes, and other sporting equipment, is that a tax of wellness?" Cheh argued.
Tax opponents believe the tax will add $60 to $80 a year to fitness club memberships in the city.
Early Tuesday, members of the fitness community weighed in.
"It's already difficult enough to convince people to spend their hard-earned money on specialized classes and what this does is just make that cost a little bit more," says Tamara Berger, owner of Off Road Indoor Cycling, a small fitness studio focused on cycling, boxing and boot camp-style training.
Physical trainers and others connected with health club operations, sporting bright yellow T-shirts reading "Don't Tax Wellness," filled most of the seats in the D.C. Council chamber for the vote.