Yoga studios in New York City are not subject to a local sales tax, the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance announced last week.
Earlier this year, the department had said that yoga studios would have to pay the same 4.5 percent sales tax that other fitness clubs are required to pay. Yoga for New York, a group that represents yoga studios in New York City, led the charge in persuading the department to reconsider its decision, according to multiple media reports.
Fitness clubs that include yoga classes along with Pilates, group exercise classes and access to equipment are still subject to the city sales tax, the department added.
“Our review concluded that the focus of Pilates is fitness, whereas yoga is historically practiced for its meditative and spiritual benefits,” Geoffrey Gloak, spokesperson for the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance, told WNYC.org.
The department’s decision pleased New York State Assembly member Linda Rosenthal, who supported Yoga for New York. Two years ago, Rosenthal co-sponsored bills that prevented the licensing of yoga instructors in New York.