Many members of the legislature think the state revenue department is over-reaching in some of its tax collection demands.  They argue that walking or running on a treadmill is not the same as going to a movie; jogging on the indoor track at the health club is not the same as watching a track meet; lifting weights is a far cry from a ballet performance.

 Senators such as Bob Dixon of Springfield maintain the Revenue Department apparently doesn’t see the difference, which is why his bill bars the department from collecting sales taxes from educational institutions, fitness centers and similar facilities.

Kansas City Senator Ryan Silvey hopes the bill covers others. “The intent of this would also include…a dance studio that is teaching classes,” he says, “Traditionally educational institutions are not taxed but recently our Department of Revenue has decided to pick and choose some of them and start taxing them.” 

Dixon says the Revenue Department has said it’s okay for the legislature to pass the bill, that it will find another way to levy those taxes, an attitude he calls “arrogant.”   He says if the bill makes it into law and the department doesn’t stop its efforts, he’ll be looking for jobs to cut out of the department’s budget next year. 

 AUDIO: debate 6:10

The text of the bill:

Click to access SB584.pdf