BEACHWOOD, OH -- Members of the new Life Time Fitness in Beachwood, OH, are paying an additional 3 percent on their monthly dues for that city’s admissions tax.
Some members complained to Beachwood City Hall after receiving an e-mail about the tax from Life Time, according to the Cleveland Plain Dealer. The club opened in January.
Beachwood’s admissions tax ordinance, enacted in 1964, does not specify fitness clubs. The ordinance says those who pay the tax include theaters, dance halls, stadiums, circuses, amusement parks and swimming pools.
Steve Kerzman, Life Time’s director of tax and revenue, wrote an e-mail to Beachwood on Jan. 14, the day after the company was informed of the city’s admissions tax.
“These regulations do not clearly include health clubs which have membership dues,” Kerzman wrote in the e-mail. “Membership dues are not the same as admission fees. Members can come and go as many times as they want.”
Beachwood Finance Director Dave Pfaff told the newspaper that fitness clubs would fall into the same category as swimming pools and that members of the city’s Bally Total Fitness and Canterbury Golf Club pay the tax. The Jewish Community Center in Beachwood does not pay the tax, Pfaff adds, because the organization falls under the religious, educational or religious institution exemption.
Life Time spokesperson Kent Wipf told the newspaper that he believes the Beachwood club is the only one of Life Time’s 85 facilities in 19 states that collects an admissions fee. He added that the tax will not have an adverse effect on the company.