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Behind the Scenes

For-profits vs. Nonprofits

There's a for-profit/nonprofit debate brewing in the state of Kansas, particularly in Wichita, KS. The Kansas Health and Fitness Association (KHFA), which represents private health clubs in the state, is making a claim that Wichita YMCAs should not receive a tax break, given the amount of revenue they generate. This advertisement along with this half-page advertisement were published recently in the Wichita Eagle.

The KHFA, founded by Rodney Steven II of Genesis Health Clubs, paid for the advertisements, which point out that according to the Wichita YMCA IRS filings, the YMCA made nearly $12 million in 2007, and during the last few years, its additional revenue after expenses has exceeded $34 million. The communications director for the Greater Wichita Y says although the figures are accurate, the revenue generated by the YMCA goes back into the community.

This is not the first, nor is it the last, disagreement between nonprofits, such as Ys, and their surrounding for-profit clubs. We detailed this struggle in 2006. We also detailed the struggles for-profits face against city rec centers in February of last year.

What's your say about the relationship between for-profit and nonprofit facilities? Do nonprofits have an unfair advantage over for-profits because of their tax-exempt status? Are they going after the same membership?

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