From THINK PROGRESS :
Having already declared health care reform a failure just three months after it passed, House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) wants to alert the public that today is the day the Affordable Care Act begins to destroy America, one tanning salon at a time. Boehner blasted out a press release and tweet warning about a 10 percent tax on indoor tanning beds, which goes into affect today, to help fund the Affordable Care Act. Citing a Wall Street Journal article, Boehner wrote, the tax is “causing all kinds of problems for business owners who provide tanning services.” Indeed, the Journal notes the horror one owner of a video store that also offers tanning beds will have to deal with:
Today, she wants to offer one free tan for every three rentals. Should that freebie be taxed? Ms. Chamberlain doesn’t know.
Oh, the horror, indeed!
Original DVD cover
(from left, clockwise: Snooki (MTV-NJ), John Boohoo Boehner (R-OH), Dave xBandx Camp (R-MI), and Captain Underpants (R-AZ))
(Click on image and then on that for an even larger version)
The Heritage Foundation blasted the tax as well, while Fox News dutifully whined on behalf of the tanning industry. The network reported live from a tanning salon, declaring the tax to be “unfair,” “confusing,” and even “discriminatory” [...]
Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) also refused to take this injustice lying down in a tanning bed. Proving to Americans that his party — despite what his own colleague says — has substantive policy alternatives, McCain told the Jersey Shore’s Snooki via Twitter that if he were president, “u r right, I would never tax your tanning bed! Pres Obama’s tax/spend policy is quite The Situation.”
The tanning tax — in addition to raising $2.7 billion to help Americans afford health care who otherwise couldn’t — is aimed at discouraging unhealthy activities, much like taxes on cigarettes and alcohol. A recent study from the American Association for Cancer Research found that people “who tanned indoors had a 74% greater risk of developing melanoma than those who never used the machines.” Melanoma is “one of the most aggressive and deadliest cancers,” killing about 10 percent of those diagnosed — 48,000 each year worldwide. The “tax will significantly reduce the future costs of treating skin cancers,” the president of the American Academy of Dermatology told CNN. Meanwhile, fewer than 10 percent of Americans use tanning beds, and at an average cost of about $15 to $20 per visit, customer will only pay about $1.50 or $2.00 extra.
But if Boehner and the cast of Jersey Shore refuse to pay the extra couple bucks, they can always switch to spray-on tans, which will not be taxed.
Cigarettes, alcohol, and now tanning? That’s three strikes for Boohoo Boehner!
(Video at THINK PROGRESS link)
From the website of Dave xBandx Camp, ranking member on the House Ways & Means Committee:
Unfortunately, no amount of sunscreen or Aloe will relieve the pain of the Democrats’ impending 10 percent tax on indoor tanning beds,which goes into effect tomorrow, July 1. This $2.7 billion tax will hit tens of thousands of small businesses and consumers and is just one of the many of the $569,000,000,000 in new health care taxes that violate the President’s promise not to raise taxes on middle-class families.
Despite the size and reach of this new tax increase, many Americans and small businesses are unaware of this provision or how to comply with it. According to a survey taken earlier this month, “only 5 percent of tanning business owners in the poll said they had been contacted by the government. Fully 95 percent say they are flying blind about how to collect the tax.”
On June 11, 2010, Ways and Means Ranking Member Dave Camp (R-MI) wrote to IRS Commissioner Doug Schulman asking whether the IRS would engage in aggressive outreach to notify Americans affected by the health care law’s new tax on tanning services. Camp noted that that the IRS sent over 4 million postcards advertising a small business health care tax credit that many employers are ineligible to receive. The IRS has yet to explain why it has not notified tanning operators about this tax.
Below are excerpts from “By the Numbers” put together by the National Federation of Independent Business, Indoor Tanning Association and the International Franchising Association on the new tanning tax.
Because they’ll be totally unbiased.
2.7 billion: The amount of money the IRS plans to collect from small businesses over
the next 10 years from this tax.
~19,000: Number of “mom and pop” small businesses who may be affected by the
12: Number of pages it takes the IRS to explain the rules to comply with the
complicated “suntan tax.”
36: Number of hours estimated by the IRS to complete and file Form 720,
prior to the IRS revising and adding the new suntan tax to it.
>$74: Average cost, per hour, spent by small businesses to comply with federal
tax paperwork burdens.
>4 million: Quantity of postcards mailed to small businesses alerting them to the
availability of a small business tax credit.
0: Number of postcards sent to alert tanning businesses of the new tax on
2: Number of weeks in advance small businesses received the regulations for
complying with the new suntan tax.
♪ And a partridge in a pear tree. ♫