To make up for some of the billions of lost tax dollars, the state of New York is considering a 4 percent tax increase on health club fees.
Here are three questions that come to mind immediately.
1) Is this a sign of times?
2) Will your state follow New York's lead?
3) Is New York just playing a money shell game? By increasing health club fees are they also increasing the cost of providing health care to a less fit and fatter population?
According to Capital9news.com the people of New York are furious about the potential increase in their monthly health club dues.
"I think it is ridiculous. I think you should tax fat food and tax pollution, something that is more negative,” said gym member Susan Cappozzoli.
“If anything, they should be subsidizing gym memberships and decreasing gym memberships so you could encourage people to go to the gym and avoid obesity and other health issues,” said gym member Joel Feliciano.
Analysts from the International Health, Racquet and Sportsclub Association say an additional tax would be just yet another financial hurdle for new fitness club memberships, which have already decreased in some areas because of the economy.
“New York State spent $1.6 billion last year for health care costs for obesity. To have this tax discourages maintaining a well-balanced diet and health and fitness,” said Senior Vice President David Kastin of Town Sports International. “I would double up the tax on sodas and leave fitness clubs alone.”
tax on health club memberships is something we're doing to raise
revenue. There's plenty of other ways as [State Health Commissioner
Richard] Daines said, that folks can get out and exercise, particularly
children,” said State Deputy Health & Human Services Secretary Joe
Baker. State health officials are defending the tax proposal, which is still subject to approval by the State Legislature"
State health officials are defending the tax proposal, which is still subject to approval by the State Legislature"