Thursday, February 11, 2010

YMCA Promises To Be Good Neighbor To Health And Fitness Businesses On Ridge

...Critics of a YMCA on Snoqualmie Ridge said it wouldn’t benefit many people, but Gilbertson disagreed, though he acknowledged it isn’t clear what percent of the membership is expected to qualify for reduced-membership rates. The percent of members at a YMCA on reduced fees ranges in King County from 18 percent to 50 percent, he said. Revenue from business unrelated to an organization’s tax-exempt purpose is supposed to be taxed by the IRS. The report by Citizens Against Government Waste argues that the IRS does not adequately enforce this tax on YMCAs by not taxing their health and fitness operations in affluent communities. ‘Our mission is not limited to communities that are economically-challenged,’ Gilbertson said. Advocates of for-profit health and fitness businesses take issue with that. ‘Selling fitness services to adults who can afford them is a business,’ said Kara Thompson, a spokeswoman for the International Health, Racquet and Sportsclub Association. Gilbertson said he expects that if the YMCA goes into Snoqualmie Ridge, there will be enough business for multiple health and fitness providers. Many adults probably won’t want to work out at the YMCA, which will have children in the facility, he said.

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