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Northeast Ohio Lawmakers Push to Increase Access to Community Recreation Centers

Bipartisan legislation will remove sales tax on nonprofit gym memberships
April 5, 2017
Republican Newsroom

COLUMBUS— State Reps. Ron Young (R-Leroy Twp.) and Thomas E. West (D-Canton) today introduced House Bill 177, bipartisan legislation to expand access to 501(c)(3) fitness facilities by exempting nonprofit gym memberships from the sales tax. Ohio is currently one of only five states to tax nonprofit gym memberships.
“The YMCA is responsible for untold numbers of public service programs throughout the state as a nonprofit organization contributing much to the fabric of Ohio,” said Young. “The collection of state sales taxes for memberships provided by these nonprofit recreation centers is not a productive activity by the state.”
HB 177 aims to increase access to nonprofit gyms like the Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) and Jewish Community Center (JCC) by reducing the cost of membership. Many nonprofit gyms not only provide gym facilities, but also preventative health and family care programs.

“By expanding access to organizations like the YMCA, this bill will help connect Ohioans with the critical preventative health services that they need,” said West, who previously served on the Board of Directors for the YMCA of Central Stark County. “Many nonprofit gyms offer childcare, before and after school activities, swimming lessons, physical fitness courses, diabetes testing and education, food assistance programs and so much more. Passing legislation to increase access to these programs is the right thing to do.”

Similar legislation was introduced in the 131st General Assembly by former State Rep. Jim Buchy (R-Greenville), and passed 92-2 through the House of Representatives with 57 co-sponsors.