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Urgent Issue for NC Massage Therapists - Stop sales tax on massage therapy and bodywork services!

In case you haven't heard by now, NC is in a serious budget crunch right now. The NC legislature is considering taxing certain "pleasure services." ALL MTs in NC are referred to in Chapter 90 of the General Statutes as "licensed healthcare providers" and the setting that someone works in has nothing to do with that designation. As such, unless ALL healthcare services and providers are taxed, massage therapists should not be singled out as a "pleasure service." The only way to stop this is to contact your legislator NOW!

Please share this information with every massage therapist you know in NC and every business that employs massage therapists. Spa/salon owners and individual estheticians, nail technicians and cosmetologists - you may want to research how much more this could affect your other services and business as well.

Click here for more details on how to get in touch with your local representatives and speak up. You can also keep up with the latest information and post your own comments or thoughts on my blog at http://blog.spalutions.com. It is not too late to do something - but one day soon it will be. Do something today to prevent sales tax from being added to massage therapy and other personal services.

Tags: Brown, Felicia, NC, Spalutions, legislature, massage, nc, sales, tax, therapy

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Here's an update to the above:

If you've been reading my blog, twitter, facebook or newsletter entries of late, you know about the push by some NC legislators to add sales tax to personal services, especially "pleasure services" such as massage therapy, facials, hair cuts and pedicures. As of this writing, licensed massage therapists have been exempted from the proposed sales tax that I have previously written about (though this could change) because they are classified as "licensed health care professionals" in North Carolina's General Statutes. Obviously, no group should be singled out from other health care providers (chiropractors, physicians, physical therapists, etc.) to be taxed just because the service they provide is usually enjoyable. This is especially true since massage therapy services are not covered by insurance but are paid for entirely by the consumer.

Unfortunately, other personal services are still currently included in the proposed tax. Many spa, salon and other service businesses that will be affected by it have already seen a huge drop in revenue and are fighting just to stay in business all as a result of the economy. As personal care services are often the first thing to drop out of people's budgets, I suspect the tax - if approved - will not just be "passed on" to the consumer but rather absorbed by the business owners instead. Adding a tax to personal services will hurt these businesses and professionals and force many to close which will in turn hurt product and equipment manufacturers and other vendors that serve the industry.

Time is of the essence! Please take a few minutes today or over the weekend to write your representatives or the members of the NC House Finance Committee and NC Senate Finance Committee- contact lists are attached to the links and also included in other blog entries. You can also click here to visit the website for the NC Legislature to find out who your representatives.

I also encourage you to share this information with your local media, professional association, colleagues and clients. Special thanks to Massage Magazine, Skin Inc, DAYSPA, Spa Opportunities, SpaClique.com and the Day Spa Association as well as everyone who has gotten involved in helping me to get the word out. Keep it up!

Please feel free to add your comments or thoughts, letters or suggestions here or on my blog at http://blog.spalutions.com. The most recent post on the issue is at the link below:

http://blog.spalutions.com/2009/07/17/sales-tax-on-massage-and-spa-...

Thanks for your support and help:-)
Hi Felicia,

Is this on the agenda for the AMTA North Carolna Convention in August? I will put it on our agenda for the symposium in KY and will highlight it at http://www.massagenews.org if you write me a story. Keep the Faith!
Mike -

Thanks so much for your note and willingness to help out. This issue will probably be decided by the end of July. That means by the time the NC-AMTA convention, national convention and WMF are happening it will be too late to do anything. That is why it is so important for people to act today.

What is important to stress at these upcoming events and conventions, I believe, is for massage therapists, bodyworkers and spa/salon professionals everywhere to pay attention to the laws and legislation that affect their livelihood. Even though this is a NC issue, this same thing has occured in a number of other states already. So no one is immune to the threat of sales tax (or other taxes) being imposed on what we do. That is why we need to make a strong statement here in NC and to do it now before it is too late.

Interestingly, golf (greens fees)is another area that is potentially going to be taxed. From the coverage I've seen today, it appears that the golf industry has gotten a good PR firm or lobbyist to speak out for them. Remember the squeaky wheel gets the oil so let's do all we can to get coverage about why the proposed sales tax is bad for massage therapy! Check out these articles:

http://politics.mync.com/2009/07/nc-tax-overhaul-still-alive-in-bud...

http://www.newsobserver.com/politics/story/1609389.html

http://www.charlotteobserver.com/breaking/story/835736.html

Mike Hinkle said:
Hi Felicia,

Is this on the agenda for the AMTA North Carolna Convention in August? I will put it on our agenda for the symposium in KY and will highlight it at http://www.massagenews.org if you write me a story. Keep the Faith!

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