Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Should private health clubs receive property tax-exemption?

Overtime, the YMCA has become one of the largest income earning charities in the United States. Some private health facilities see the YMCA’s exempt status, which enables them to operate and offer service for less, as an unfair advantage. Consequently, some private health facilities are frustrated because they view tax-exempt health facilities like the YMCA as competitors, not as charities. 

Recently, the owner of a series of private health facilities in Kansas spent $45,000 in campaigns of senators who would build support in the Legislature for property tax-exemption applicable to private health facilities statewide. The owner of the private health facilities argues that its largest competitor in nearly every city home to one of his facilities is a tax-exempt facility. Further, the owner argues it is time to treat all health club facilities the same.

Is there anything troubling about the competition argument? Are there any concerns with adding private health club businesses to the list of organizations receiving property tax-exemption? What impact, if any, would adding private health clubs to the list have on the local tax base? 


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