DC Council votes to keep 'yoga tax'

WASHINGTON (AP/WUSA9) - An amendment to kill the "yoga tax" in the District has failed. The D.C. Council voted 9-4 Tuesday to keep the tax in the budget.

Before approving a $10.6 billion budget on Tuesday, the D.C. Council was considering an amendment that would eliminate the so-called "yoga tax."

Councilmember David Catania, an independent who's running for mayor, introduced the amendment. Councilmember Muriel Bowser, the Democratic mayoral nominee, Jack Evans, and Jim Graham voted yes on the amendment.

Mayor Vincent Gray is also against the new tax. Councilmembers Cheh, Alexander and Grosso support the tax.

Yoga and fitness buffs have been angered by the D.C. Council's plans to subject those services to sales tax for the first time.

A woman from Rockville, Maryland said, "If DC passes this gym tax, I will just leave the gym membership and I will go join a gym in Rockville, Maryland, where I live."

The budget includes a substantial income tax cut, among other changes to the District's tax code. Council Chairman Phil Mendelson has defended the plan, saying the overall tax burden for District of Columbia residents will decrease.

The tax on fitness club memberships is expected to add $4 to $5 million to the D.C. treasury.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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