Murkowski: 'Tan tax' would hurt Alaska

McClatchy NewspapersDecember 23, 2009 

When the Senate proposed replacing the so-called "Botax" with a "tan tax" this week, who knew an Alaskan would defend a golden glow? (Well, maybe the tanning bed in the governor's mansion was a hint.)

Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, took to the floor of the Senate Tuesday to read a number of letters and e-mails from constituents with concerns about the health care overhaul bill. They included the owner of four indoor tanning businesses in Alaska, who said the proposed tax had the potential to bankrupt his family.

"When did this go from a 5 percent tax increase for cosmetic surgery to 10 percent for indoor tanning, anyway?" Murkowski read from the business owner's correspondence. He was referring to the original Senate health care proposal, which called for 5 percent tax on cosmetic procedures.

Murkowski stepped to his defense: "In Alaska, we need to get a little sunshine, even if it's not what God has provided us. But these are good businesses."

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