Tanning tax could burn local businesses

Myrtle Beach, SC - By A.J. Ross - bio | email

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – People in search of the perfect summer tan will have to cough up more money, thanks to a new indoor tanning tax that will go into effect Thursday.

The 10 percent tax is a part of the healthcare reform bill President Barack Obama signed into law in March.

Kimberly Karavan, owner of Contempo Tan on Kings Highway, says she is worried the new tax will burn her business and others.

"It's ridiculous and unfounded," said Karavan. "The tanning industry is an industry without lobbyists or any big money backers fighting for it."

Medical experts approved the new tax, citing the negative side effects indoor tanning could have on people. But Karavan and others say the risks involved in indoor tanning are no different than those associated with sun bathing.

"It's the same thing as going to the beach," said Karavan. "But people aren't leaving my tanning beds with sun burn."

The new tax will bring in an estimated $2.7 billion over the next 10 years. The money generated from the new levy will be used to pay for the estimated $940 billion health care overhaul.

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