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Amusement Taxes Pose a Serious Threat for Small Business

Dec 18, 2018 by AFP

In business, nobody should have a government-created advantage over their competition. Businesses should compete with each other on a level playing field. But in Tennessee, an excessive tax puts many small businesses at a disadvantage.

The “amusement” tax is a tax that applies to events and entertainment. In Tennessee’s case, the amusement tax applies to fitness centers as a form of entertainment – gyms, yoga studios and barre studios, to name a few. A nearly 10 percent tax is applied to those facilities’ fees, raising the cost of membership significantly.

Here’s the unfair part: The amusement tax on fitness centers applies only to some fitness centers, particularly the small ones.

Centers that meet certain criteria, such as a square-footage requirement, are exempt from the amusement tax. Large, big-name companies offer lower prices because they don’t have to include the amusement tax in their membership fees and can beat out their smaller competitors.

Thus, your local yoga studio, barre studio, or cross-fitness center must pay burdensome taxes simply for being small. That is an unfair disadvantage created by the government that hurts small business owners in Tennessee.

Instead of imposing a harsh tax, Tennessee should get out of the way so businesses can compete and succeed.

Want to help get rid of the amusement tax on fitness centers in Tennessee? Sign your name to support lower taxes and competition!