Cornyn is pro-gym

Interesting Cornyn bill:

[T]he WHIP Act seeks to remove barriers to worker wellness
by making fitness center memberships tax-free for employees when provided
as an employee benefit. Current law requires workers to pay income tax on
such wellness benefits.

Introduced in April by Representatives Zach Wamp (R-TN), Mark Udall
(D-CO), Ron Kind (D-WI), and Jim Ramstad (R-MN) in the House, and by
Senators John Cornyn (R-TX) and Tom Harkin (D-IA) in the Senate, the WHIP
Act already enjoys strong bi-partisan support.

The WHIP Act allows for the balanced tax treatment for the cost of
fitness center memberships as a benefit for all employees, whether the
exercise facility is in-house or located off-site. The bill also affirms an
employer's existing right to deduct the cost of subsidizing or providing
fitness center benefits for its employees. This legislation excludes the
wellness benefit from being considered income for employees, making
employer contributions to the cost of fitness center fees exempt from an
employee's income tax.

Current tax law requires employees to pay income tax on any fitness
center fringe benefit an employer might provide unless the fitness center
is located at their work site.

I'm not a huge fan of social engineering via tax code (think Al Gore, circa 2000), but given how much other stuff is exempted from taxes, this seems reasonable. In a world of second bests and such...

To digress, I think "in a world of second bests" would make a great tombstone. But maybe that's just me.

Posted by Evan @ 05/11/07 12:09 AM


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