WOOD-RIDGE – Senator Paul A. Sarlo today urged the New Jersey Department of the Treasury to reverse its decision to force non-profit organizations like the YMCA to collect sales tax on the dues their members pay.
“When the Legislature voted to modernize New Jersey’s sales tax structure, it was with the understanding that organizations such as the YMCA would not be required to collect those taxes,” explained Senator Sarlo, D-Bergen, Essex and Passaic.
“The ruling by the Department of the Treasury to apply the sales tax to the YMCA makes very little sense and I urge the Treasurer to reverse that decision immediately,” added Senator Sarlo.
In July, the Legislature passed legislation to extend the sales and use tax on the charges for initiation fees, membership fees or dues for membership in health and fitness, athletic, sporting or shopping clubs, unless the club’s members are predominantly age 18 or under.
The Treasury originally announced in August that organizations such at the YMCA would be exempt from the sales tax because of their non-profit status, but subsequently reversed that decision in September, ruling that the sales tax applies because they are in “substantial competition with privately operated non-exempt business entities”
“The YMCA is such an integral part of our community and this tax would severely limit their ability to provide the types of programs that have helped New Jersey’s children and families to grow and succeed for the last 150 years. It’s simply unacceptable,” said Senator Sarlo.
Senator Sarlo added that if the Department of the Treasury did not reverse the ruling in the near future, he would support legislation that would clarify the intention of the health club sales tax extension and exempt organizations such as the YMCA from the tax.
“YMCAs do so much for our local communities. We need to make sure they are in the financial position to continue to serve,” added Senator Sarlo.