On July 16, a “tanning tax” went into effect for the nation’s indoor tanning salons.
The tax, which will add an extra 10 percent to indoor tanning services, will help fund the $940 billion health care overhaul. According to an article on CNN.com, the initiative is expected to generate $2.7 billion over the next ten years.
So my question is this, was the initiative passed because the health care system cares about indoor tanners getting cancer or does the governement just need another way to syphon money out of tanners pockets and into theirs? And is the bill fair?
Let me throw in a little disclaimer. I am an indoor tanner, so it might seem as if my opinion is bias but believe me, I’d much rather trade in the tanning bed for a blanket on the beach. The problem is that in Western Washington the amount of sun exposure is limited.
If I go to a tanning salon and spend twenty minutes in a conventional bed, the option with the highest amount of UVB rays, it is equal to me spending an hour outside in the sun without sunscreen. So let’s say that I went tanning twice a week, I would basically be spending two hours in the sun unprotected.
So why are the folks in dreary Washington being punished for craving a little vitamin D and a nice glow? And why isn’t there a sun Nazi out in Florida, Miami, California, Arizona, Texas, all of the places that are naturally blessed with a surplus of sun? I can almost guarantee you that people spend more than two hours out in the sun without slathering on their sunscreen in those states.
I don’t think anyone that tans doesn’t know the dangers, just like people who smoke know that they are putting their lives at risk but they still do it. Just like people still bungie jump, skydive, speed on the freeway, take drugs, drink too much, and various other life threatening activities.
It is not fair for the government or the healthcare system to deem just some of these activities worth a tax. Implementing a tanning tax is the beggining of a tax whirlwind. There are already high taxes on cigarettes, liquor, soda and candy and now there are initiatives to tax tattoo parlors. What is next?