NEW YORK — Tax breaks could be forthcoming for New York City sports centers that open their doors to city school children. A report by the Education Committee of the New York City Council has urged the council to provide tax breaks to private gyms that open their doors to students or to offer tax cuts for parents who purchase health club memberships for their children. They also recommended zoning changes that allow fitness facilities to be built near schools after an agreement that allows school children to use the facility in afternoon hours when gyms are least busy.
The committee is concerned that 94 percent of the city's 1,200 schools don't have ball fields and one in five schools don't have gyms. The New York Education Department says that 43 percent of city school children are overweight.
“These are hopeful ideas that in the future will help children,” said Greg Krakower, a representative from the office of New York City Councilwoman and Chairperson of the City Council's Education Committee Eva Moskowitz.