MADISON, Wis. (WTAQ) - The owners of Wisconsin tanning salons say they’re getting burned by a new tax in the federal health reform law. Starting July 1st, those who provide artificial indoor tans will be taxed 10 percent of their costs. Dale Suslick of Madison, who owns 9 shops, calls it a death sentence for many small salons. He said some were just barely making it, and they’ll now try to either sell or close their businesses.
John Overstreet of the Indoor Tanning Association said he surprised to see the new tax when it was put into the bill just days before the Senate passed it last Christmas Eve. It replaced the so-called “Botax,” which would have slapped a 5 percent tax on elective cosmetic surgeries. The tanning tax is expected to bring in $2.7 billion over a decade. It supporters point to a World Health organization report which called tanning beds “carcinogenic.” But the industry says they help provide Vitamin D which people in the northern U.S. don’t get due to a lack of sunshine.