Today, gyms and health clubs in the state of Tennessee pay a nearly 10 percent amusement tax, but with his upcoming budget, Gov. Bill Lee will reportedly propose repealing it.
According to the Nashville Tennessean, Lee said the move would both reduce the burden on small business owners and help improve the health of people in Tennessee.
The tax is currently only levied on smaller gyms and health clubs, including CrossFit boxes, Orangetheory locations and yoga studios. National chains that operate larger facilities, however, are exempt from the amusement tax, something which a group called Toss the Tax says unfairly targets smaller, locally owned fitness centers.
Lee and the Toss the Tax group agree that the amusement tax essentially punishes Tennesseans seeking to improve their health through fitness. “The skyrocketing costs of healthcare and Tennessee’s high rates of obesity and diabetes means we simply cannot afford to discourage healthy habits,” Lee said in a statement.
It’s unclear what effect the repeal might have if it does pass. Some are suggesting that it could lead to more memberships at clubs, and cheaper membership prices for members.
“I look forward to working with the legislature to modernize our tax code and prioritize the wellness of Tennesseans,” Lee said.