Update on Tax Bill HF 884


Update: Tax Bill HF 884

March 8, 2018
taxpicEarlier, this week, we alerted you to a hearing at the Capitol, introducing Tax Bill HF 884; that is intended to exempt certain massage therapy from sales taxation and impose the health care provider tax on certain massage therapy services.  By registering with the Department of Revenue certain massage therapist’s services could be subject to the lower 2% health care provider tax.  In order for the Department of Revenue to determine who is a massage therapist the bill contains definitions of “massage therapist” and “massage therapy services.” These definitions are new since the scope of practice for massage therapy is not defined anywhere else in Minnesota Statute.
Our Government Relations Team and Lobbyist, Maureen O’Connell, worked with the author (Representative Tina Liebling) and we requested changes to the language, that defined massage therapy and the removal of a section, that defined the variety of products that are used in the profession. This amendment was presented and passed.
The House Tax Committee moved the bill into a holding status until Tax Committee Chair, Greg Davids, decides which tax bills will be included in the omnibus tax bill, near the end of this years session.
We feel it is important to include our membership in on our decisions, especially ones that effect all Massage Therapists, within the state of Minnesota.  We have highlighted a few Pro’s and Con’s for this Bill and openly encourage you to share with us your thoughts.
Pro’s of this Bill:
  • Lower tax being applied to massage therapy services and potential simplification of the collection of taxes for massage therapy.
  • Massage Therapy gets recognized as a healthcare profession.
Con’s of this Bill:
  • The tax commissioner has no guidelines to determine the qualifications of an individual registering as a massage therapist. An individual can simply assert on an application that they are a massage therapist. For example, he/she will not have to demonstrate that he/she has completed any education requirements or proven competency, in the form an exam or other.
  • There seems to be contradictory language in that massage is listed under “patient services” and “sales and purchase” tax codes yet there is no clearly defined path to one or the other.
Attached is the Department of Revenue fact sheet:           http://www.revenue.state.mn.us/businesses/sut/factsheets/FS162.pdf

We will post Audio of March 7, 2018 Tax Committee hearing when it is available.

We would encourage you all to carefully read Tax Bill HF 884,
Please, feel free to share your opinions and comments on HF 884 with us, by emailing Susan Tietjen, AMTA – MN Government Relations Chair at mnmbtgrc@gmail.com.

Join the Movement

The AMTA – Minnesota Chapter is looking for candidates to fill the following positions on the Chapter Board:volunteer23
  • Financial Administrator (1 Year Term) ending March, 2019
Currently, the Board of Directors meets the 1st Wednesday of each month at 7:00 PM.  This is contingent on the board members’ schedules and is open to change with the 2018 elections. The Board does not meet in July or December.  We have both in-person and conference call options.  Living in the Twin Cities is NOT a requirement.  We encourage involvement from our members outside the metro area.
The following Committee Chair positions are a one year term and are reappointed yearly:
 If you are interested in learning more about these committees and their functions, contact us at amta.minnesota@gmail.com, we would love to talk to you!  If you are hesitant about being a committee chair, please, consider volunteering to help out on the committee, first.  We always need volunteers and enjoy new faces.
Click HERE to find out the current list of committee chairs.  Scroll down to see what each committee is needing assistance on.


If you are interested in serving in any of these positions, please send your Candidate resume, signed Code of Conduct and a head shot photo to: amta.minnesota@gmail.com.


Chapter Awards: Honor your Colleagues!


Deanna Benson was 2016 Chapter Meritorious Award Winner at National Convention

AMTA-MN Chapter wants to honor our members this year at the annual business meeting. To do that we need your help! Do you know an AMTA Member who has done outstanding work on an humanitarian level? How about a tireless volunteer?

Click the links to submit your colleague for our state level award, that may be forwarded on to National for an even bigger award at National Convention!

Wouldn’t it be great to see our Minnesota Star’s Shine!

Submit your nominations to amta.minnesota@gmail.com by February 15, 2018 at midnight.


Nomination form


  • To openly honor recipient(s) who is an AMTA member
  • To acknowledge the “heart” of massage in action


  • Award established in 1996
  • To be given annually
  • Award is selected and kept unannounced until time of presentation
  • There may be more than one (1) recipient in a given year
  • Recipients on the Chapter level may be honored at a National Level


  • Active AMTA member for at least one (1) year
  • In good standing at the time of award consideration
  • Volunteer work, which may or may not include massage, done in the larger community.  Including but not limited to: charity, church, supporting the arts, working with children, disabled, needy, sick, homeless, elderly, community outreach to populations for who massage is otherwise difficult to obtain; fundraising for same, consciousness raising, relief efforts
  • Recipient shall not have received this award in the previous year
  • Approved by the MN Chapter Board

Sports Massage Achiever  SMTPic

Nomination form


  • To openly honor an AMTA member
  • To acknowledge accomplishments in the area of sports massage


  • Award established in 1996
  • To be given annually
  • Award is selected and kept unannounced until time of presentation
  • Recipients on the Chapter level may be honored at a National Level


  • Recipient must be an AMTA member for at least one (1) year
  • Recipient accomplishment(s) exceed expectations
  • Recipient display cooperation and team play on team
  • In good standing at the time of award consideration
  • May include but is not limited to accomplishments that enhance the visibility, prestige and acceptance of sports massage and sports massage therapists to the general public and the other components of the sports community
  • There may be no more than one (1) recipient selected per year
  • Recipient shall not have received this award in the previous year
  • Approved by the MN Chapter Board

Chapter Meritorious

This award, which honors an individual by acknowledging diligence in volunteerism accomplished in an altruistic manner, is the highest award bestowed upon an AMTA member by a chapter.

Nomination Form

About the Chapter Meritorious Award


  • To openly honor an AMTA member
  • To acknowledge diligent volunteerism done in an altruistic manner


  • Award established in 1969
  • Has been given annually since that time


  • Active member in AMTA for at least one (1) year
  • Only one (1) nominee from each chapter can be a recipient

Teacher of the Yearteacher of the year

Each year, AMTA –  MN presents this award to an instructor in a member school who demonstrates exceptional teaching abilities and commitment to high standards of education in massage therapy.

Nomination Form

About the Award

This award is given on a chapter level. However, Recipients on the Chapter level may be honored at a National Level.

Who Inspires You? This award honors the memory of Jerome Perlinski, an extraordinary educator and much loved leader.  Winner of the Chapter Teacher of the Year will be submitted for the Jerome Perlinski Teacher of the Year Award given by National AMTA.

Jerome Perlinski is remembered for his recognition of the gifts and talents of others and his ability to bring out their best. A consumer and advocate of massage therapy who was not a practitioner, Jerome held a doctorate in the history of ideas from St. Louis University. He was a widely experienced teacher and lecturer whose committed work helped raise training standards, improve teaching methods and educate massage practitioners about the importance of ethical, professional behaviors. When colleagues remember Jerome, they use words like inspired, passionate, motivating, principled and exceptional

More than just Meetings and Classes

If you have ever volunteered for an AMTA state chapter board, you know that when you go to convention, you are scheduled to attend chapter leadership meetings, classes, and help host networking events for your members. Sounds a little dull… but these board members share what they get out of Convention and what they bring back to our Board Table.

Susan Tietjen, ATMA-MN Government Relations Chair had this to say:

Milwaukee was my fourth national convention. Initially, I planned to attend because it is so close to home and a great opportunity to blend education with my enthusiasm for our profession. Additionally, Robin Robertson’s story intrigued me and the Olympians panel discussion for the closing session increased my interest in attending.

Closer to convention time it became evident that it would be beneficial to work on GR plans while in Milwaukee. Meetings were scheduled during lunch breaks and in the evening hours.  GR chairs from other states and staff from AMTA national gathered to answer my questions and listen to plans for Minnesota legislative activity.  Listening to the more experienced GR chairs and advice from national was an opportunity that I wouldn’t want to miss.

Continuing education was also a high priority. I can claim success in learning some new techniques and fulfilling my ethics requirement. Also worth mentioning is the vendor market exhibit hall, a great way to get supplies at a discount and not paying shipping.

My approach, when my family life and business plan allows me to get away for National Convention, I put it on my calendar.  Attending rejuvenates me and is always educational in many ways.

Tom Rotman, AMTA-MN Sports and Community Events Chair, and MN Delegate for the House of Delegates had this to say:


I attended the national AMTA conference in October. I got to meet a lot of new people and reconnect with massage therapists I’ve been talking and emailing with throughout the year.

I am a member of the HOD (House of Delegates). One of our responsibilities is to review and approve AMTA position statements, for example Massage Can Improve Health and Wellness (September 2014). I like the position statements because they give me solid information I can use in talking with clients – and potential clients.

This year, however, for the first time ever, HOD did not have any positions statements on which to vote. Instead, the national board of directors used the time to assess and reevaluate the purpose of the HOD. They asked us our opinions on procedures and how they could be improved. They also wanted our thoughts on whether the HOD could be changed to better serve our members. All in all, the delegates had many ideas. The one main take away was that the delegates need more education on how to evaluate a research project. That’s how we can vote on great research for the AMTA to turn into great position statements.

I also went to CVOP (Chapter Volunteer Orientation Program), which has the purpose of giving us information that we can bring back to the Minnesota chapter to promote our volunteer programs and operate more effectively. We learned about the 5 languages of affirmation: Words of affirmation, quality time, acts of service, tangible gifts, and physical touch. We discussed how each person reacts to these words differently. Do you know your own language of affirmation? We learned different ways local board members can work together more cohesively and accomplish goals more effectively. We also discussed things that will affect our industry in the future, from cultures / social / economy / financial / technology / virtual / regulations / legislation.

At both HOD and CVOP, the one thing that AMTA kept emphasizing was that whatever we do, we do it for our members. Participating in these two things was a great experience for me. I am looking forward to next year’s conference in Pasadena, California.

AMTA New Chapter Board Structure


In June 2016 AMTA’s national board approved a new chapter board structure to provide consistency among all chapters. The new structure is part of a multi-year culture initiative focusing on the value of the volunteer experience.

Some positions and titles have changed and the new structure will be complete in 2018.  Below are the positions up for election in 2017 and 2018. If you have any further questions about the process leading up these changes, we will be providing more details on our chapter website. If you have questions about our elections, please contact amtamnonlinevoting@gmail.com

2017 Minnesota Chapter Elections

Both positions are for a two-year term (2017-2019)

  • Board Member (new title – replaces 1st Vice President)
  • Financial Administrator (new title – replaces Treasurer)

After 2017 elections, the 2017-2018 Minnesota Chapter board will consist of:

  • President
  • Board Member
  • Board Member
  • Secretary
  • Financial Administrator

2018 Minnesota Chapter Elections
All positions are for a two-year term (2018-2020)

  • President
  • Board Member
  • Secretary

Chapter Meritorious Award

Congratulations Deanna Benson, Minnesota’s 2016 Meritorious Award Winner! 
This award, which honors an individual by acknowledging diligence in volunteerism accomplished in an altruistic manner, is the highest award bestowed upon an AMTA member by a chapter.  Deanna was presented with the award at the 2016 AMTA National Convention in Milwaukee, WI.
Deanna, has been instrumental in the successes of our Minnesota Chapter, for over 10 years. We could not be more thankful for her commitment to volunteering for AMTA.
She graduated from St. Cloud State University, with a BS in Special Education, in 1976. After, twenty three years, of working in human services, supervising group homes for individuals who have cognitive and physical disabilities, she made a career change, in 2001, by attending Northwestern Health Sciences University, School of Massage Therapy.  Where she graduated in December 2002. She is an Independent Contractor at Courage Kenney Rehabilitation Institute (formerly Courage Center) in Golden Valley, and she see’s clients who have disabilities in four different group homes.   She has, also, worked with the Robbinsdale School district, providing chair massage, as part of their wellness program.  She enjoys volunteering with Basset Buddies, a Basset Hound rescue, and Families Moving Forward. Her hobbies are gardening, cooking and traveling.

Thank you, Deanna.

MT Checks Olympics off Bucket List

I have been a super fan of the Summer Olympics since 1984, when Mary Lou Retten won gold on a injured foot.

I watch every 4 years, with such awe and amazement as different athletes from round the world would compete for the chance to be the best in the world.  After the closing ceremonies in 2012, when they announced Rio de Janerio, Brazil, as the next host of the summer Olympics, I jumped for joy.  Brazil has always been a bucket list item as well, doing them together was an opportunity I knew 4 years ago I would not miss.


In 2013, the Olympics in Brazil was still on my heart, so I started Googling.  I went right to the Olympic website and soon realized they were looking for volunteers.  I applied instantly.  I waited 6 months for the 1st reply.  I had been accepted for the 1st interview.  This was an online simulation, like a video game, where I made choices about how I would handle different situations I would come across in the Olympic Park.  I waited another 4 months before I was accepted for the next phase, webinar style.  We met with a leader who instructed myself and 4 other people from around the world on a task to complete as a team.  I waited 5 months for the next reply.  Each time a different style interview and each time a long wait in between.  It was March of 2016, a short 5 months before the Olympics, I received a letter of acceptance to be a volunteer Massage Therapist, on the Medical Team, in the 2016 Rio Summer Olympics!!
img-20160831-wa0002I was assigned to both the Athletes Village, polyclinic and the Maria Lenk Aquatic Center.  I enjoyed the Athletes Village the most.  There we worked in the Polyclinic with all the other medical professionals.  We performed massage on athletes who registered for the service or who were referred by a Olympic Doctor or Team Doctor.  img-20160831-wa0003Our treatment room had 10 tables set up, 5 on each side of the room.  We had private rooms available but most of our treatments were given in a sports massage type fashion, with clothing on.  We worked with each athlete for about 40 minutes.  Not all athletes spoke English, this was challenging in going over the health history form.  As well as, not all the therapists spoke English, however, we all spoke the language of touch.  We were quite busy providing 10-12 massages an hour from 7:00 AM until 11:00 PM.

img-20160831-wa0000Working at the Maria Lenq Aquatics Center, was a different experience.  When at the competition site, most athletes were in serious competition mode.  They seldom talked to anyone but their coaches and medical team.  I did no massage and spent most of my time watching the competitions with the other medical staff.  We would need 4 medical staff at each event to sit on the area of play, in case of an emergency.  In which, we were only used when the team Dr/Medical staff asked us to join in.


AMTA-MN Chapter President Erin Hewitt in a “Gold Medal Moment” at the Rio Olympics 

This was one of the most amazing experiences of my life.  Being able to be a part of the Olympic games alone was epic, being able to work in my profession and do what I do on a daily basis was even more monumental.   ~Erin Hewitt – AMTA-MN Chapter President