Tanning salon owners get ready for new tax

The Fort Worth Star-TelegramApril 5, 2010 

The cost of keeping that golden tan year-round is going up this summer.

Starting July 1, a small provision in the huge national health care law will impose the first ever U.S. tax, of 10 percent, on indoor tanning.

"This is frustrating for small-business owners in general," said Renee Armstrong, owner of Great Tans salons in Benbrook and Fort Worth. "Taxes already seem to go up yearly, and this makes it more and more difficult for us.

"This is something that has never been charged before," she said. "We'll have to do something to compensate for most clients."

The tax is expected to generate $2.7 billion over the next decade to help fund the $940 billion overhaul of the nation's health care system.

But tanning salons locally and nationwide said the tax won't raise that much money and could sway people to give up tanning altogether, putting businesses at risk of not surviving.

"That is grossly out of proportion to what people in the industry think it will raise," said John Overstreet, executive director of the Washington, D.C.-based Indoor Tanning Association. "People in the industry think it might raise maybe half of that, but no one knows.

To read the complete article, visit www.star-telegram.com.

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