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New tax on tanning beds leaves me burned
Jan Moore
Jan Moore

      I don't know about you all, but I have just have had it with that crowd in Washington, D.C., and the "removed" way from the populous that they govern. The latest installment in their arbitrary manner of "ruling" is the "tanning" tax levied on the sale of tanning bed time.
      Most of you probably don't care. I mean, why should you care if you don't pay for the use of a tanning bed? As a business person, I caution you to consider the implications of this tax.
      First, it is levied by the federal government as a 10-percent sales tax on tanning bed services. Not the sales tax you are used to paying at the store that goes to the Georgia Department of Revenue. It is a federal sales tax paid to the IRS for a service. Our local community will never see a dime of it. Further, it hits small business almost exclusively, because most tanning bed establishments are small, and for the most part run by women. To go from no tax to charging 10 percent on the dollar is a big deal.
      It was attached to the health care bill at the last moment with no public debate or input provided for. According to the Associated Press, the tax is expected to add 90 cents to a few dollars to the cost of a single tanning-bed session and raise about $2.7 billion nationally to help expand health coverage to uninsured Americans over the next decade. The tanning tax wasn't in early versions of the health care bill and was added after dermatologists persuaded powerful senators to substitute it for a proposed tax on cosmetic surgery.
      Amy Reagan, sales manager of Exotic Tanning and Hair in Statesboro, is completely appalled by the lack of communication regarding the tax. "Had it not been for the internet, we would not have known anything about the tax that was implemented on July 1," she said. "We have received no communication from the federal government whatsoever regarding the tax and the specifics of collecting and then sending it in. We have had to get the information off of private websites and forums. We are collecting it, and can just hope that we are doing it the right way."
      Reagan said she isconcerned about operators who haven't heard about the tax.
      "Are they not collecting the tax, because they haven't been made aware of it," she said. "This is ridiculous. It's like all of a sudden, here is a tax, start sending it in. It's crazy and it's 10 percent."
      What service is next? Legal advice, advertising, marketing, medical, accounting - take your pick.
      I am not advocating the use of tanning beds. Like most anything else, they can be used in an unhealthy or healthy way. I just think this is another example of something that can be done with a stroke of a pen hundreds of miles away that affects legal, law abiding businesses in our community.
      What's next?
      So, until next Tuesday, I bid you au revoir.
      Got a scoop for Jan? Call her at (912) 489-9463 or email her at

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