Non-profits worry Kentucky’s House Bill 8′s sales tax will impact those they serve

Non-profits like the YMCA feel the new sales tax on their services will deter those they serve from using their services.
Published: Mar. 16, 2023 at 6:54 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - A law that took effect this year imposes sales tax on certain services, including some offered by non-profits.

Some organizations feel it can do more harm than good.

The sales tax imposed by House Bill 8 went into effect on January 1, 2023. It’s already starting to make an impact, not only for non-profits, but the people that they serve.

The bill introduced sales tax to a laundry list of services.

Some of those include meeting space, leisure, recreational and athletic instructional services, recreation camp tuition and fees and personal fitness training.

These are all services that the YMCA of Greater Louisville takes pride in offering.

“That brought great concern to the non-profit community for a number of reasons,” YMCA of Greater Louisville CEO and President Steve Tarver said. “But the majority of that has to do with making sure people get served effectively, especially our most vulnerable population.”

Tarver said what scares him the most is the possible loss of opportunities for those in need.

“The real concern I have is the trickle-down effect for our most vulnerable families,” Tarver said. “This will, I’m convinced this will cause some families to select out of getting served by non-profits.”

He said this will not only cost more in dollars but in stress for both the families they serve and the Y and he estimates adjusting to this law will cause a great financial strain.

“Plus we got the issue of we’re not used to collecting it,” Tarver said. “We will spend thousands of dollars just putting in systems to collect and report the tax. And that itself is a burden before we even start serving anybody.”

Tarver said he hopes this issue doesn’t lead to more problems for non-profits.

“Starting to tax non-profits, as it has been experienced in some other places, opens a door that makes it hard to know where that stops,” Tarver said.

Tarver said the YMCA and other non-profits are working to get this legislation changed come session 2024.