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Petitioning State Senator Tommy Wells 5 and 12 others

Say NO to DC Gym Tax



Credit: David Garber -


"In a less-than-surprising turn of events, the DC Council held a preliminary vote on the proposed budget yesterday that includes a 5.75% sales tax increase on all fitness related business services. 

What that means: anyone in DC who works out at a place that costs money, your already-expensive
fees just jumped. Places like Results and Vida Fitness,Capitol Hill Yoga, DC Boxing & Fitness, District Crossfit, boot camps, Biker BarreAtlas FitnessBikram Yoga Capitol Hill, and CrossFit DC all just got more expensive.

The tax hike was part of recommendations that the DC Tax Revision Commission submitted last year, but were only publicized as part of the budget itself 18 hours before the preliminary vote was taken. The fact that they were recommended by that commission seems to be the only point of consideration for Chairman Phil Mendelson. The idea that "anyone paying for an expensive gym membership can afford another 6%" is also floating around. That argument doesn't fly with me.

What wasn't considered? 

1) Fitness activities are already really expensive. Adding almost 6% is an insult to anyone without much disposable income looking to stay healthy. And even if someone *can* pay? Not a reason to levy additional fees, and still discourages business services in DC.

2) There are ZERO full-service gyms east of the Anacostia River, and the small scale fitness businesses that have set up shop there don't need more reasons to have less customers. 

3) DC is extremely divided on income and health lines. Obesity and diabetes rates are much higher in lower-income areas. This is essentially an exclusionary tax that further prohibits those that may need fitness services most from accessing services that encourage a healthier lifestyle.

The DC Council still has time to back off this insane increase before their final budget vote on June 11. Please contact any and all council members asking them to introduce an amendment to remove fitness services from the 5.75% sales tax hike. All contacts are listed here:

Chairman Phil Mendelson:
(202) 724-8032

Jack Evans:
(202) 724-8058

David Catania
(202) 724-7772

Kenyan McDuffie:
(202) 724-8028

Anita Bonds:
(202) 724-8064

Jim Graham:
(202) 724-8181

Mary Cheh:
(202) 724-8062

Muriel Bowser:
(202) 724-8052

David Grosso:
(202) 724-8105

Tommy Wells:
(202) 724-8072

Yvette Alexander:
(202) 724-8068

Marion Barry:
(202) 724-8045

Vincent Orange
(202) 724-8174

This petition was delivered to:
  • State Senator
    Tommy Wells 5
  • Chairman
    Phil Mendelson
  • State Senator
    Vincent Orange 4
  • State Senator
    David Grosso
  • State Senator
    Anita Bonds
  • State Senator
    Marion Barry
  • State Senator
    Kenyan McDuffie
  • State Senator
    Mary Cheh
  • State Senator
    Muriel Bowser
  • State Senator
    Jack Evans
  • State Senator
    Jim Graham 4
  • State Senator
    Yvette Alexander
  • D.C. City Council

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