Voice Your Opposition to Proposed Illinois Massage Tax

An amendment was added to Senate Bill 9 in the Illinois Legislature last week which would impose a sales tax on massage therapy services. The bill includes a new list of taxable "personal care services," including massage, manicuring, tattooing, and tanning. However, "personal care services" are excluded from the tax if they are performed by, or under the order of, a licensed physician, physician's assistant, nurse, or a licensed chiropractor. Hair cutting, coloring, and styling are also exempt.

To read the bill, please use this link and go to page 216: http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/100/SB/10000SB0009sam003.htm

We urge you to call your Illinois State Senator to oppose the proposed taxation of massage therapy in SB 9. Massage is an important healthcare therapy, not a cosmetic "personal care service." It should not be taxed for the same reasons that services by physicians and nurses should not be taxed. Please let your State Senator know your opinion of this proposal based on your own professional experience. Explain what massage therapy is and how it benefits the public. Let him or her know how this tax would impact your practice and the availability of massage to the people who need it. We encourage you to express your opinions in your own words, but we've also provided some suggested talking points below that you can use as a guide if you wish.

To locate the contact information for your State Senator, click here

Suggested talking points:

I am calling to respectfully request that LMT's be excluded from the list of taxable "personal care" services" in Senate Bill 9.

  • Massage therapy is the ONLY licensed healthcare profession which is included in this bill as a taxable "personal care service." There is no reason to single out massage therapy as taxable over other healthcare professions, and it is unfair to do so.
  • To include massage therapy in the "personal care service" category rather than a "medical/healthcare" category would completely defy the intent of the Massage Therapy Practice Act, as well as the Medical Practice Act which clearly articulates that massage therapy is a healthcare profession.
  • Licensed massage therapists would be punished for operating independently, since massage therapists who are employed by physicians or chiropractors are exempt from taxation under the bill.
  • A tax on massage therapy would discourage the public from seeking massage therapy. Massage therapy helps people in pain, and in many cases effective massage therapy can preempt the need for expensive doctor visits.