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In an effort to help close a reported budget gap of $9.2 billion, California has introduced Assembly Bill 1963 (AB 1963) which would require gyms/fitness facilities to impose a 4% sales tax on any services provided. This would directly impact gym membership fees as well as the fees associated with personal trainer services. While some will agree with the State that all potential revenue streams should be explored, increasing the cost associated with achieving a healthy lifestyle at a time when obesity and type II diabetes are at near epidemic levels seems counterproductive to many. According to Senior Legislative Analyst for IHRSA Tim Sullivan the tax proposal is a sign of the times. “It’s typical reaction on behalf of legislators in difficult economic times to look for additional sources of revenue.” Sullivan indicated that IHRSA is currently fighting a similar tax imposition in Maryland and monitoring a potential threat in Chicago. He goes on to say that taxing the services provided by a fitness facility isn’t the best way to stimulate the economy. Instead he points to the importance of a healthy workforce which would reduce healthcare costs and increase productivity. “Governments should encourage these behaviors, not discourage them by taxing health club memberships and services.” Those interested in staying up to date with the progress of AB 1963 and any other legislation in California can do so at www.ihrsa.org/california.