Campaign for Liberty to Congress: Tanning is not a taxable event!

Campaign for Liberty has joined a broad-based coalition in sending a letter to the Congress in support of ending Obamacare's "tanning tax".

Campaign for Liberty members who agree that tanning should not be a taxable event should call their Representatives and Senators and tell them to support getting rid of the tanning tax.

Text of the letter available here and below:

We, the undersigned organizations representing hundreds of thousands of Americans, urge Congress to repeal the 10 percent excise tax imposed on indoor tanning services established by the Patient Protection and Affordable Health Care Act (PPACA). The tax violates the President’s promise not to raise taxes on middle-class families and is another in a long line of problems with this broken legislation.

The tanning tax was included in the law only after a proposed “Botox tax” failed due to a well-organized lobbying campaign. Projected to bring in $2.7 billion over ten years, the tanning tax was one of 21 tax increases included in the law’s attempt to offset $1.1 trillion in new spending.

The bill’s authors viewed tanning as a politically convenient target for higher taxes because they seemed to regard the activity as out-of-favor. Yet, as is often the case with so-called sin taxes, such as those on alcohol or tobacco products, tanning tax revenue has fallen far short of expectations. In the first half of FY 2011, only $36.6 million was collected. In 2012, of the $300 million anticipated, only $91 million was collected. This is largely attributable to the fact that the tanning levy has a “small base, high rate, and singles out one product for special treatment,” violating the principles of sound tax policy as explained by the Tax Foundation.

Ultimately, the tanning tax places a heavy burden on the shoulders of small business owners. The National Federation of Independent Business estimates that there are 19,000 “mom and pop” businesses affected by the tax.  Since 2009 almost 90,000 jobs have been lost and 9,658 salons have shuttered according to the American Suntanning Association. The scheme in PPACA also contains a significant loophole that leaves tanning services provided at gyms untaxed, putting some small businesses at a disadvantage relative to their competitors.

Though it is just one component of the President’s health care law, the tanning tax is emblematic of the serious problems with PPACA. The law’s new taxes and mandates unfairly target certain taxpayers and distort markets. As Congress undertakes more comprehensive efforts to repeal PPACA, it should be certain to repeal the tanning excise tax.


Pete Sepp
National Taxpayers Union
Phil Kerpen
American Commitment
Grover Norquist
Americans for Tax Reform
John Tate
Campaign for Liberty
Kristin Fecteau
Campaign to Free America
Andrew F. Quinlan
Center for Freedom and Prosperity
Lawson Bader
Competitive Enterprise Institute
Tom Schatz
Council for Citizens Against Government Waste
Jim Babka
Adam Brandon
Andrew Langer
Institute for Liberty
Seton Motley
Less Government
Gregory T. Angelo
Log Cabin Republicans
Amy Ridenour
The National Center for Public Policy Research
David Williams
Taxpayers Protection Alliance
Judson Philips
Tea Party Nation


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