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Greenwich Yoga Warns: State Tax Is Coming

GREENWICH, Conn. -- Signs are posted throughout Kaia Yoga Complete Wellness Center in Greenwich alerting customers that the tax exemption for yoga instruction is being eliminated. Come Friday, Connecticut residents will see tax increases across the board.

“Hopefully it’s not going to affect our business,” said Haylie Johnston of Kaia Yoga. “It’s easy for people to do an easy $20 cash transaction, and now it’s going to be a little more difficult, I think, but it is what it is.”

Services that will be taxed at Kaia Yoga starting Friday will include drop-ins, the 30 days for $30 deal, class cards, $108 monthly unlimited memberships, all in-house wellness services and all in-house private yoga sessions. Customers will pay $11.11 more for 10-class cards, $19 more for 20-class cards.

“People are taking it personally. We have such a tight-knit family here and they think we should do more for them,” said Johnston. “We’re a business, there’s not much more we can do. We can’t lower the price to make it the same it was because we’d be losing money.”

The 2011 session of the state General Assembly approved and Gov. Dannel Malloy signed higher sales taxes on items like high-priced jewelry and clothing. It removed tax exemptions on such things as yoga services at studios. A 6.35 percent tax will now be imposed on clothing and footwear costing less than $50, non-prescription drugs and medicines; valet parking at any airport; cloth or fabric for non-commercial sewing; yarn and smoking cessation products.

New services that will also be taxed at 6.35 percent include cosmetic medical procedures; manicure, pedicure and other nail services; spa services; motor vehicle storage; packing and crating; motor vehicle towing and road services; intrastate transportation via limousine, community car, or van with a driver; and pet grooming, boarding and obedience classes.

General taxable items and services will increase from 6 percent to 6.35 percent. Short-term hotel and lodging stays less than 30 days will see an increase from 12 percent to 15 percent. Short-term car rentals will increase from 6 percent to 9.35 percent. Motor vehicles costing more than $50,000 and boats costing more than $100,000 will see a 1 percent increase to 7 percent. Jewelry, either real or imitation, that costs more than $5,000, as well as clothing costing more than $1,000, will also see a 1 percent increase to 7 percent.

In the rush before the taxes go into effect, the yoga center, located at 328 Pemberwick Road at The Mill in Greenwich, is offering monthly unlimited members the chance to pay off the remainder of their year to save $6.85 per month.

“We want to help our customers and keep prices low, but we can’t, and some people have already canceled,” said Johnston. “Even for six more dollars a month it’s a lot for people.”

Do you know of any deals stores, salons or dealerships are making before or after the new taxes go into effect? Will you be cutting back on services because of the increase? Send responses to ahelhoski@thedailygreenwich.com .

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