Racked is no longer publishing. Thank you to everyone who read our work over the years. The archives will remain available here; for new stories, head over to Vox.com, where our staff is covering consumer culture for The Goods by Vox. You can also see what we’re up to by signing up here.
Another year, another round of price increases on everything we love. And in 2015, that includes some of our favorite fitness studios. Just before the new year, SLT and Barry's Bootcamp sent out emails to their clients signaling that a "4.5% NYC sales tax" would be added on to class purchases beginning January 1st. "We know that's worse than an entire round of burpees, but it's a new city-wide law," the Barry's email read.
However, it looks like these two studios are just the latest to comply with this law that's been in effect for a few years now. Per a bulletin issued by the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance in November, New York City's health and fitness facilities are subject to this 4.5% tax on "all charges for dues, membership or initiation fees." This includes spas that offer services like massages, facials, and tanning, but excludes yoga studios that don't offer any other type of classes or services.
Back in 2013, the Commercial Observer reported that SoulCycle, Bar Method, and Flywheel Sports were issued investigative subpoenas for unpaid sales taxes.
· Tax Bulletin ST-615: New York City Health and Fitness Facilities [New York State]
· Feel the Burn [Racked NY]