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Kansas Lawmakers Consider Tossing Health Club Tax Break

A legislative conference committee is working to reconcile differing tax bills that passed the Kansas House and Senate. In the first round of negotiations Wednesday, House leaders suggested eliminating a proposed tax break for health clubs.

The measure would exempt health clubs from property taxes because some club owners say they face unfair competition from YMCAs, which are tax exempt nonprofit organizations.

Rep. Richard Carlson, a St. Marys Republican, is concerned that giving health clubs a tax break could lead to other businesses asking for a similar tax cut.

“How do we justify to the other for-profits, whether it’s a for-profit hospital competing with a nonprofit hospital, a private golf course competing against the public golf course. There are dozens of entities that have to compete who would consider it being unfair,” said Carlson.

YMCA leaders have argued that they offer community services that health clubs don't. The proposed tax exemption passed the Senate but isn't included in the House bill.

As the Kansas News Service managing editor, I help our statewide team of reporters find the important issues and breaking news that impact people statewide. We refine our daily stories to illustrate the issues and events that affect the health, well-being and economic stability of the people of Kansas. Email me at skoranda@kcur.org.
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