Loose Lips

Mendelson Stays Inflexible on “Yoga Tax”

Your burpees have not swayed Phil Mendelson. Fitness protests aside, the D.C. Council chairman took to the airwaves today to say that he won't take the "yoga tax" out of the Council's budget.

The yoga tax—which could just as easily be called the gym tax or the storage locker tax, and is apparently even being called the virtue tax—would levy a 5.75 percent tax on certain services, as recommended by a tax revision commission.

In an appearance on WAMU's The Politics Hour, Mendelson stuck by the tax. After taking a call from an angry listener, Mendelson said the tax will likely stay in the budget. That's despite complaints from businesses and their hard-body clientele that the new tax would amount to punishing people for staying fit.

“We’ve been taxing athletic equipment and athletic equipment gear for years and nobody has objected to that," Mendelson said.

Photo by Darrow Montgomery

  • DC Guy

    If they shifted the tax to high fructose corn syrup and guar gum, then the problem would be solved. Why they want to provide a disincentive to fitness is beyond comprehension.

  • Tbonebullets

    Complete loony tunes. Instead, tax car-driving commuters who are polluting our environment and causing lung cancer.

  • Miss Lu Lu Hogg

    Mendelson is a liberal left wing idiot!

  • DCShadyboots

    This tax is asanine. It is counter-productive.

  • Ward 2

    Go Phil Go!

    When I bought my bicycle I paid a tax on the purchase. When I have my bicycle tuned up, I pay a tax on the labor cost. When I bought my car I paid an excise tax; when I put gasoline into my car I pay an excise tax.

    Nothing worse than self-entitled, over-privileged, trendy, NIMBY millennials!

  • citydude

    In District Of Columbia only poor people pay Sales Tax. Rich people that means developers, Universities, non profit and the DC Govt itself does not pay Sales tax. In Virginia and Maryland everybody pays sales tax and that includes United States Govt. Jack Evans has lobbyists from all of these entities sitting in his office...Just Ms Hemsley said"Only poor people pay taxes"

  • nativeson

    i'm my twenty years in DC, i can't recall a tax that comrade mendelson hasn't fully supported. For all his prattling on about "ethics" and "accountability," the man is, at bottom, a craven creature of this city's establishment.

    Problem: city overspending.
    Solution: tax increases on whoever's too disorganized or weak to resist.

  • Trinidad Person

    A picture perfect example of a comptely left-leaning guilt-ridden white imbecile. Mendelson, you are terrible beyond words.

  • When did he

    Become such a complete utter total fucking hypocridiot?

    And a chief one party state suck ass ringleader?

  • Here Today

    Phil You Rock!

    When I bought my bicycle I paid a tax on the purchase. When I have my bicycle tuned up, I pay a tax on the labor cost. When I bought my car I paid an excise tax; when I put gasoline into my car I pay an excise tax.

    The proposed fee/tax is a direct result of and recommendation by DC Financial Savior, former Mayor Anthony A. Williams and his Tax Commission.

    Nothing worse than self-entitled, over-privileged, trendy, NIMBY millennials!

  • rsn

    @DC Guy

    They already have a tax on products containing high fructose corn syrup and guar gum...it's called the sales tax. If you want to tax these items at a higher rate than other items to create a disincentive to consume them, that is completely fine by me. That, however, does not mean that services of all kinds should not be subsidized by the local government - they should have to play by the same rules as everyone else. If they can't, then perhaps these entities should reassess their business model.

    If your goal is to encourage a larger number of less affluent people to consume these services, exempting them from sales tax is a pretty ineffective mechanism. Less affluent people will not be able to afford these services regardless of a sales tax exemption, while people can afford them now will almost certainly still be able to afford them if the price rises 5.75%

  • JJ

    DCguy and Tbonebullets, guess what those things are already taxed. The issue is why give SUBSIDIES to certain activities. I pay taxes on my bicycle and parts, why shouldn't someone pay taxes on a yoga class? It's not like they don't use city services.

    Half the floks at my gym are their just to impress people they hope to go to bed with, why am I subsidizing that?

  • jorge

    Actually this is part of a measure to decrease taxes. Exempting gym services by for-profit companies was never a fair policy in the first place.

  • Typical DC BS

    Amazing how only one person commenting mentioned CUTTING SPENDING as a viable alternative. Gee, DC liberals really aren't very bright after all, are they?

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