A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Have tax questions? Submit to state website; applying taxes to nonprofit fitness center? Confusing

Kentucky Health News

“Kentucky, which has the seventh highest rate of obesity in the U.S., will begin to tax fitness center and Weight Watchers memberships on July 1,” Chris Otts of WDRB notes in a report on the expansion of the state’s 6 percent sales tax to several services.

Beaumont Y in Lexington

“But is the YMCA – a nonprofit organization – required to collect the tax, or only for-profit gyms such as Planet Fitness?” Otts asked Richard Dobson, executive director of the Office of Sales and Excise Taxes at the state Department of Revenue.

Dobson replied, “We are working on that [question] and we will be giving further clarification.”

The taxes were levied as part of a deal between House Republicans, who wanted to protect education funding and make fewer changes to teacher pensions, and Senate Republicans, whose apparent priority was tax cuts, such as lowering the state income tax to 5 percent from the current range of 5.8 to 6 percent for income above $8,000.

“Republican Gov. Matt Bevin vetoed the bill, saying he wanted a more ‘comprehensive’ overhaul of the state’s tax code, but lawmakers voted to override the veto on April 14, putting the changes into law,” Otts notes.

“Last week Kentucky officials launched a website to better explain the tax changes. They have also set up a phone line – 502-564-5700 – to take recorded questions.” Questions can be emailed to taxanswers@ky.gov.

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