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Tax Battle Highlights Need for Shift in Perception of Health Clubs

According to, a Missouri state lawmaker is speaking up for healthy lifestyles, saying fitness should not be taxed as an entertainment activity.

The Missouri Department of Revenue said that going to the gym should be taxed as an “entertainment activity,” like going to a baseball game or riding a rollercoaster, reports.

Currently, health club offerings in Missouri are taxed as an amusement, entertainment or recreational activity. But state Rep. Eric Burlison told the news outlet that taxing fitness sends the wrong message about exercise, and he plans to address this issue in the state’s 2013 legislative session, which begins this week.

“Governments should do everything in their power to encourage exercise, especially in health clubs,” said IHRSA President and CEO, Joe Moore. “Working out in a club is not entertainment. It’s health management.”

IHRSA has previously sponsored initiatives to repeal Missouri's tax on health club dues and services during multiple legislative sessions, and will continue to do so. IHRSA's recent grassroots campaigns have empowered health club operators and members across the state to reach lawmakers in Springfield with the message: “End the tax on healthy lifestyles.”

IHRSA members are invited to learn more at

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