Recent News and Legislative Updates
As reported in July 2006, legislation has been enacted to require state licensure of Massage Therapists, Massage Therapy schools, and Massage Therapy businesses. The Governor is in the process of selecting and appointing Board members. Following appointment, the Board members will write implementing regulations. This process has been delayed because Governor Romney did not make the appointments prior to leaving office and Governor Patrick has not yet made the appointments.
Both the sales tax on massage and House Bill 735, failed to pass this legislative session. Any new attempt to regulate the massage therapy profession will take place in the next legislative session beginning in January 2008.
House Bill 908-FN was heard in the Executive Departments and Administration Committee on March 20th. Following an hour of testimony in a crowded committee room, the bill has been retained. A subcommittee will be assigned and the bill will be reviewed and discussed over the summer. ABMP will share additional information as we receive it.
Assembly Bill 4104, sponsored by Assemblyman Sean Kean, has been introduced in the New Jersey Legislature. The bill would remove the sales tax on massage, bodywork, and somatic services. ABMP is very supportive of this bill although Governor Corzine has already publicly stated that the state cannot afford any tax rollbacks. There is no action to take at this time.
House Bill 908-FN sponsored by Representative Baroody has been introduced in the New Hampshire General Court and is scheduled to be heard in the Executive Departments and Administration Committee on March 20, 2007 at 9:30 a.m.
Governor Rounds signed senate Bill 70 into law on March 2, 2007. The law amends the Massage Therapy Practice Act, which was enacted in 2005. The law changes 3 key issues:
- The fees associated with the application and licensing process will be reduced. The nonrefundable application fee will be $100 and the license and renewal fee will be capped at the amount of $65 instead of $300. The license will be valid for one year instead of two years.
Senate Bill 2536, sponsored by Sen. Nia Gill, has been introduced in the New Jersey Legislature. The bill would amend the current voluntary certification law by requiring mandatory licensing of massage, bodywork, and somatic therapists. While the bill positively addresses many ABMP concerns with the current law, it misses a few key points as well. To view the entire bill, go to: http://www.njleg.state.nj.us/2006/Bills/S3000/2536_I1.PDF
House Bill 448 has been introduced in the Maryland House of Delegates. The bill would expand the definition of “taxable services” under the sales and use tax imposing additional sales taxes on consumers; including on massage therapy. Massage is the only health care service to be added as a taxable service. To view the entire bill, go to: http://mlis.state.md.us/2007RS/bills/hb/hb0448f.pdf
As ABMP reported, effective Sunday, October 1, 2006, massage, bodywork, and somatic services will be subject to 7% sales tax in New Jersey unless the client has a prescription from a doctor. I recommend that you read this bulletin carefully, then follow up with a trip to the website mentioned to begin the process. If you are employed by someone else, your employer is responsible for collecting the tax. However,
Despite the efforts of ABMP members and massage, bodywork, and somatic therapists throughout the state, the New Jersey Legislature passed a budget bill that increased the state’s sales and use tax from 6% - 7% on July 15,2006, and expands the base sales tax on October 1, 2006. From Assembly Bill 4901, the provision reads: "3. There is imposed and there shall be paid a tax of 7% upon: (9) Massage, bodywork or somatic services, except such services provided pursuant to a doctor's prescription."