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February 16 2011

What Does it Take to Tax the Tanning Business?

Sabrina Schaeffer

The truth about Obamacare just keeps slipping out. After Congress passed the Affordable Care Act of 2010 last spring, we started hearing about all sorts of surprises that were quietly tucked away in the bill.

One of these little treasures was a series of industry levies lawmakers included as a means of helping fund this massive new piece of legislation.  Included in this list, was a 10 percent sin tax imposed on the indoor tanning salon industry - I guess it would be hard to tax tanners at public beaches. Obviously, we all know that too much sun exposure is bad for you, so why not burden this -yes, legal! - business with an additional penalty?

Readers might be interested to know what's involved with imposing a levy on a single industry like tanning salons. According to Paul Bedard, the Washington Whisperer over at U.S. News and World Report, the IRS has called for 81 new agents "just to handle the tax reporting of 25,000 tanning salons."

Of course, this is just the tip of the iceberg since there are lots of industry levies included in Obamacare. 76 agents "will be assigned to make sure businesses engaged in making and importing drugs pay their new fee, which is expected to deliver $2.8 billion to the Treasury in 2012 and 2013" alone.

Well, so much for transparency in government! Obamacare was crafted behind closed doors, without the support of Republicans - let alone public support! - and without any sensible market-based provisions. So I guess it's no surprise Democrats would hide all sorts of inefficient taxes, burdensome regulations, and new IRS agents to pay for their dirty work.

Independent Women’s Forum’s mission is to improve the lives of Americans by increasing the number of women who value free markets and personal liberty. Sister organization of Independent Women’s Voice.
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