Small group protests proposed fitness sales tax outside Wilson B - KMSP-TV

Small group protests proposed fitness sales tax outside Wilson Building

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WASHINGTON -

Have you ever heard of a burpee? It is one of the most popular fitness moves used in many gym classes. But outside the Wilson Building in D.C. on Tuesday, some protestors used the burpee to help fight a proposed fitness sales tax.

The fitness tax could really add to the cost of people working out. CrossFit is not cheap. For those at Second Wind CrossFit in Northwest D.C., it is about $180 a month. That means if this tax goes through, that could be an extra $10 a month for them.

Right at the bottom of the steps at the Wilson Building, the protestors -- around 10 people -- lined up and went to work. They performed eight burpees representing the eight wards in D.C.

“We should be doing everything possible to get people to become fit, to become healthy, to promote a healthy lifestyle, and taxing that particular service simply sends a bad message,” said Steve Dolge of Second Wind CrossFit.

Last week, the D.C. Council approved a plan that will lower income taxes for most D.C. residents. But in order to do that, they will have to tax fitness organizations and even other services such as bowling alleys and car washes.

Phil Mendelson, the chairman of the D.C. Council, is leading the charge.

“There are some folks who are saying we shouldn't tax physical fitness,” said Mendelson on Monday. “The reality is that we have a sales tax on athletic equipment for example. That principal was one that was compromised a long, long time ago.”

But some argue this fitness tax was a surprise and they say common sense shows that if people stay in better shape, the costs to the government will be lower in the long run.

Although people may be concerned about this new tax, they didn't show up at the protest however. Several councilmembers told us they have received emails and phone calls, but Chairman Mendelson said the complaints were not as much as he expected.

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