Fighting the Tan Tax

As I write this post, there are various tanning industry groups all over the country campaigning to repeal the tan tax.

Reasons cited for abolishing the tan tax include:

  • The tax unfairly targets the tanning industry, playing favoritism to the big money dermatological and cosmetic interests.  
  • The terms of the tax are confusing and vague. Tanning business owners aren’t sure how to collect the tax.
  •  The tax won’t bring in nearly as much as originally projected (2.7 billion in 10 years), whereas the original planned tax on cosmetic surgeries was expected to bring in much more.
  • The tax will hurt many small businesses.

Tanning industry groups around the country are partaking in “grassroots” campaigns in order to fight the tax. What is a grassroots campaign? A grassroots campaign is a campaign in which members from local communities organize in order to advocate a certain cause.

Grassroots campaigns (or at least the use of the term “grassroots”) have regained popularity recently (the grassroots campaign started to become mentioned in the early 1900’s) due to the democratic ideals they embody. Basically, instead of a movement being orchestrated by a central power, a grassroots movement is orchestrated by the community. The idea is for community members to have more of a say in legislation.

More and more people are realizing that if they band together in their communities and organize effectively, they can get their opinions heard and possibly see more effective legislative action than just simply sitting around, waiting for their representatives to do the work for them. This is why grassroots campaigns are getting popular again.

With the help of organizations like the ITA, tanning salon business owners in states such as Nebraska, New York, Michigan, and New Hampshire are organizing themselves into rallies to get their opinions on the tan tax heard. They are writing to their representatives and senators advocating the abolition of the tan tax. The word is these representatives and senators are listening!

If you are feeling the hurt of the tan tax on your business and want to do something about it, consider organizing with local business owners in your area. Contact the ITA. People like you are rising up all over the country and expressing their opinions. They’re getting their voices heard.

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