TRENTON, NJ — New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine signed a bill that will exempt the initiation fees, membership fees and dues charged by nonprofit health and fitness clubs from the state's 7 percent sales tax.

The sales tax exemptions will be retroactive to Oct. 1, 2006, and the measure will create a system for consumers to receive a refund.

“Slapping the sales tax onto a gym membership is not a means of enticing someone who wants to take the first step to improve their health,” New Jersey Assemblyman Reed Gusciora says. “The ability to offer tax-free fitness memberships will allow us to further promote the ideal of a healthier New Jersey.”

The International Health, Racquet and Sportsclub Association (IHRSA) opposed the bill, saying it wanted a sales tax repeal on all health clubs, nonprofit and for-profit.