Payne Whitney hikes its rates

For the first time in several years, Payne Whitney Gymnasium has increased costs for members.

In an email to Yale students, faculty and staff Thursday evening, the Payne Whitney staff announced a change in the rates its members must pay to use the athletic facilities, effective this month.

“We have not raised prices at the Payne Whitney Gym in several years and we felt this was an appropriate time for a very modest price increase, to help keep up with economic factors as they affect our operations,” Associate Athletic Director of Payne Whitney Gymnasium and Physical Education Duke Diaz said.

The message stated that all continuous members who pay on a monthly basis will see an increase in their rate this month while all other membership plans will pay the increased rate in their next billing cycle. In addition to the raised fares, Payne Whitney also added the ability for the spouses of students to pay monthly by credit card and informed the recipients of the message that as a result of a new interpretation of how state taxes apply to Yale, Payne Whitney must pay a Connecticut State sales tax of 6.35 percent on locker and towel services.

Although the overall price hike is similar to the $2 per month increase in the most popular membership category, administrators at Payne Whitney have not had much feedback yet about the rate changes.

Some staff members will not be affected by the price hikes, as gym membership is included in the benefits for many athletic staff members.

“My membership comes with the job,” Associate Athletics Director Sports Publicity Steven Conn said in a message to the News.

During a routine review of the University taxes, Yale reviewed its tax procedures and the University Tax Office asked Payne Whitney to begin charging a state sales tax to specific amenities such as towel and locker services.

“We were asked to begin charging sales tax as a result of a directive from the University Tax Office after its review of current state tax laws as they apply to the University at large,” Diaz said. “State taxes will only apply to ‘added services’ such as lockers and towels.”

In addition to the new tax applied to added services at Payne Whitney, the operation costs of the facility as a whole are on the rise.

The facilities and programs run in the Payne Whitney Gymnasium are in a steady progression, and it’s expensive to do many of those things, so increasing the fees are probably in line,” Conn said.

Students also have an included membership at Payne Whitney. Several students interviewed said they felt the hike in membership rates to Payne Whitney does not directly affect them.

Payne Whitney Gym was built in 1932 and donated in honor of Payne Whitney, Class of 1898.

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