Following on from the 2007 Federal child fitness tax credit of $500, a Calgary politician is proposing that a fitness tax credit be introduced for adults. Calgary politician Dave Rodney, has suggested that adults who go to the time and trouble to keep fit should be rewarded with a $1500 tax credit annually.
Mr Rodney claims that the healthier and fitter the population, the less burdened the health system will be. Mr Rodney is no stranger to physical activity. He has climbed Mt Everest twice. It would appear that his proposal is based around reimbursing workout fees or gym memberships. Yes, you read it right, you may well be getting a tax credit for working out.
Recently, a study commissioned for the Fitness Industry Council of Canada suggested a fitness tax credit for adults regardless of age, could save the Canadian health system a whopping $2.5 billion over 21 years.
Although it would seem many people think that this is a great concept there could be a few other factors to consider:
* The main complaint from the public would seem to be that many people keep themselves fit and active without a gym membership. Walking and running, in particular, are great forms of exercise, but apart from your runners there are not any fees to submit to the government.
* Many people workout at home with DVD’s and their own equipment and likewise do not have receipts for fees and memberships.
* Some are suggesting that this may encourage slothful types to actually join the gym, but would it necessarily get them off the couch and into the gym?
* Going to a gym or health club does not necessarily involve all members of the family. Many healthy family type activities like roller-blading or running the dog, do not attract fees.
* However, for those who are already enrolled in a gym, and for those who would love to go, but currently can’t justify the cost, this tax credit would be a great idea.
Any system that rewards for good health practices and fitness is always going to be a great incentive. However, as we have pointed out, having a gym membership doesn’t necessarily mean you are healthy. Conversely, not having a gym membership doesn’t necessarily mean that you are unhealthy and never work out.
The Canadian child fitness tax credit of 2007 could well be followed up with a tax credit for adults who workout and pay gym fees. A little more work on the finer details and logistics could make this a worthwhile proposal. Being paid to work out sounds like a great idea!