Tanning tax expected to hit businesses hard

By Gene Petriello - bio | email

CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) - Soon, you'll start paying more every time you head to the tanning salon. Part of the health care bill includes a 10-percent tax on all indoor tanning services.

People are continuously coming into this tanning salon today, but that may be changing soon with this new tanning tax. For the past 9 years, Christine Mottley has poured her heart and soul into her three Tan 'n Time salon locations.

"I have four kids. This is how I make my living," said Christine.

But that living might take a big hit soon. Under the health care bill signed by President Obama on Tuesday, Mottley is forced to charge all her customers a 10% tax on top of the current costs.

"I think it's outrageous. 10%. I can see 3 or 4% but 10% that's is just outrageous!" exclaimed Christine.

The tax will be used to help fund the $940 billion dollar healthcare bill. "This is a small business. This is not a huge corporation. I don't make a huge salary. I'm not happy about it at all," added Mottley.

She's really angry that the new tanning tax replaced a proposed 5% tax on cosmetic surgery, like botox.

Some business owners say they'll be okay despite the new tax. But, Mottley says it'll hit her bottom line, and her family, if people like Kara Nunnally change their tanning habits.

"I would cut back a tad, but I'd still come tanning because I just feel so much better when I look tan," said Kara.

Some argue this will help reduce the number of skin cancer cases. In fact, a report by the American Academy of Dermatology says tanning before the age of 35 is linked to a 75% increase in melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer. Also, 30 million Americans hit the tanning beds each year.

But, Mottley says it's all about doing things in moderation.

"Too much of anything will have a negative impact. You eat too much, you gain weight," said Mottley.

But for now, it's reality. A tanning tax, that may hit, not only Mottley's business, but a family, all trying to survive in this tough economy.

Christine says she is not sure when she will have to start charging the extra tax, but some reports say it will start as early as this summer, possibly July 1.

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