D.C.

Concerns and protests over District's 'yoga tax'

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(WJLA) - At VIDA Fitness, one of the most popular and expensive gyms in D.C., there’s growing concern that a new tax could mean fewer members. The "yoga tax" will tack on nearly six-percent sales tax to gym memberships and classes.

"If memberships are going to be that much more expensive, that's gonna give them a reason to give their up their memberships," says Assistant GM at VIDA, Larry Brown,

VIDA is adding its support to a campaign that is building to get the so-called "yoga tax" removed. They have sent out email blasts alerting members, and the campaign is also picking up steam on social media. A Facebook page against the tax already has nearly 1,000 followers.

On Tuesday in front of the Wilson building, a small group protested the tax in the sort of way you would expect fitness buffs to do – with burpees. Eight of them for each District ward. Protestors maintain this new tax will have the biggest impact on smaller, specialty gyms.

The tax was passed by City Council last week as part of a new budget that goes into effect on July 1 – and Council Chairman Phil Mendelson says there is no way it will be removed from the spending plan.

"We've been taxing basketball exercise clothing for years, and nobody has objected to it."

And it isn’t just gym memberships that are part of this tax. Say you happen to have a personal trainer or take a specialty class within a gym – those too will carry the additional tax.

Some are saying that this won’t only result in fewer clients, but fewer jobs as well.

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