Tanning tax levied on tanning salons to fund health care bill

By Morgan Thomas - bio | email

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) – Changes are expected to start this year with the passage of the health care bill. Of the types of businesses to be affected by the bill, one might come as a surprise. Tanning salons.

A new tax on tanning salons will help pay for health care reform.

"It's not something we're happy about cause we don't to increase our prices, but that's the government," said Stephanie Moore, Bottoms Up Tanning Salon Manager.

A 10% tax will be levied on all indoor tanning that use ultra-violet lamps. Stephanie Moore manages Bottoms Up tanning in Lufkin and says the tax shouldn't affect prices.... too much.

"We're just going to charge the ten percent on what we already charge now on the tax increase. There will not be any additional increases," said Moore.

She believes it's the tanning beds new status as a medical device that contributed to its inclusion in the health care bill.

"I think its so they can oversee us more,"Moore.

The folks at Bottoms Up Tanning don't believe the tax will keep customers away. Luckily, they say Lufkin seems to be a tanning friendly city.

But they don't plan on taking any chances. They'll work to keep their customers happy after the tax goes into effect.

"Hopefully it won't decrease our business. We'll probably have to do some packages at first," said Moore.

The tax will kick-in this summer.

"I'm sure prior to it coming into effect the first of July I believe we will let our customers know," said Moore.

Before then - they welcome everyone to come in now before prices are hiked.

"Come get your base tan. get a good tan so you don't have to come as often so you don't have to pay as much," said Moore.

Another option: spray tanning.  It will not be affected by any extra taxes.

The 10% tax on indoor tanning salons is hoped to bring in over 2.5 billion over the next ten years to fund the health care bill.

©2010 KTRE. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.