Tenn. law means you pay more to visit small fitness studios

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- A Tennessee law taxes "niche" exercise studios like yoga, spinning or boot camps; and if you're taking the class, you may be paying extra because of it.

Local fitness studios are sweating over the so-called "fitness tax." The law itself has been in effect since the 1980s; however, recently, the state has been cracking down, sending out letters to business owners and reminding them of the cost that falls under the state amusement tax.

The tax is 10 percent on dues and fees at gyms that offer specialty exercise classes like unity yoga and wellness.

Christina Gerdes, a yoga teacher, worries that it keeps customers away and pushes them to bigger studios that are exempt from the tax. The law doesn't apply to studios bigger than 15,000 square feet.

"Most yoga studios are smaller and more intimate because of what we do, I don't think I've ever worked anywhere that would be that size to be exempt from that," Gerdes said.

A newly proposed law seeks to eliminate the tax, but a similar proposal failed to pass back in April.

Hollie Beckett, owner of Sol Rise Yoga Studio, says the cost usually falls back on the student.

"I'm charging my students more money than I need to for them to come take my classes"