You might not have noticed it yet, but the first new tax from Obamacare has kicked in.
Tanning salons must now collect a 10% surcharge on indoor tanning services. This new law is rumored to have been inserted in the Obamacare legislation in retaliation to the “Boob & Botox tax” which was in the original version (see my blog posting at: http://www.paulstaxblog.com/2009/12/real-boob-job.html). It was said that there were a few Senators on the Democrat side who use tanning salons to maintain themselves in camera-ready condition, and Republicans were incensed enough about the attempt to tax cosmetic surgeries they created this tax in an effort to get even. In response to public ridicule the Boob Tax was dropped, but the tanning tax survived.
Not surprisingly, people have already enlisted strategies for effective tanning tax planning. These strategies include spray on tanning solutions which are not taxed (think: Dancing with the Stars orange), and just going outside. The latter strategy is cheapest, but apparently does not yield that “true tanned look” as well as the other methods.
I don’t know about you, but this doesn’t affect me. I go from pasty white to beet red in a manner of seconds. I am so sensitive to sun that I can get sunburned fishing at night. But while this is somebody else’s ox being gored, I think we should all be sympathetic. On the one hand, our government is singling out some small boutique businesses for capricious treatment, and on the other they are currently trying to convince us they are not anti-business.