Tanning Tax Has Some Seeing Red

By: Kari Hall
By: Kari Hall

The new tanning tax has begun for ultra-violet treatments. "Anything for tanning beds like the single visits or packages you buy."

That does not include air brushing or lotions and only affects tanning salons. Health clubs that have tanning beds are exempt.

"Why isn't everyone having to incur this tax, not just tanning salons?" Vada Johnson, District Manager of Perfect Tan. Johnson also says the tax may discourage some customers from their business. "If they push customers away, we don't collect 10%. How is that going to help pay for a bill that got passed?"

Like many salons, Perfect Tan is trying to keep tanning bed users from being burned by the increase. "Our owner has reduced prices," continues Johnson, "trying to offset this 10%, keep the consumer happy because it's not really the tanning salons that are being hurt, it's the consumer."

Packages bought before Thursday were not taxed, even if they covered the next several months.

But those who walked in the door Thursday were told they have to pay a little more. "Most of our customers are angry," said Johnson. "The feel like they're being targeted because they're indoor tanners. What is safer? An uncontrolled environment outside or a controlled environment on the inside?"

The tanning tax will help fund the $940-billion overhaul of the health care system. The bill aims to raise $2.7-billion over the next ten years.

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