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New tax displeases salon owners

YATES COUNTY—With the passing of the national health care reform bill, customers of indoor tanning salons will face a new 10 percent excise tax.
Tammy Perry, owner of Tammy’s Hairstyles in Penn Yan, said it would definitely deter customers. She explained they will either do less or won’t tan. She said a lot of her customers are college students, who are already strapped for cash.
“I think it’s wrong, what (the government) is doing,” said Tina Medvitz, co-owner of the Dundee Pick-a-Flick, which also offers tanning. She added, this is just another tax placed on something to cover budget shortfalls.
For Krista VanAlstine, owner of Absolute Transformations in Watkins Glen, the indoor tanning bed excise tax is the reason the salon will no longer offer tanning services.
VanAlstine said this was a decision she had been considering for a while, but the excise tax made the final decision for her.  The 10 percent tax on indoor tanning was included in the national health care reform bill passed by the House of Representatives and signed by President Barack Obama last week.
Perry added it would add more paperwork for her, and the government. She said she didn’t know yet how it would work into cost, like sales tax. However, Perry said the cost to tan at her store would have to go up by the same amount to cover this new tax.
“I’m upset about the price increase,” said Medvitz. She explained prices would also increase to cover the 10 percent tax.
Even though VanAlstine had been considering getting rid of tanning at the beauty salon, she said the tax itself was ridiculous.  She added that people who tan will probably still tan.  However, she said that group of people for her has shrunk over the years.
Medvitz added, what some people don’t realize is customers come to tan because they have doctor’s orders. She explained they see customers who tan because it helps against back spasms, and it can be relaxing.
Perry said she heard the tax would go into affect July 1.
According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, a report by the International Agency for Research on Cancer states that tanning bed ultraviolet radiation is one of the most dangerous forms of radiation for people.

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