Republican health care plan would repeal ‘tanning tax’
NEW YORK (CNNMoney) — Tanning salons might not be feeling the heat from Obamacare much longer.
The replacement health care plan proposed by Republicans would eliminate a 10% tax on indoor tanning services. The tax was introduced in 2010 as part of the Affordable Care Act.
If the Republican plan becomes law, the tax will be phased out at the end of this year.
The tanning provision was pitched in the original Obamacare legislation with two goals in mind.
Supporters billed it as a way to fight deadly skin cancer. A report from the International Agency for Research on Cancer showed that the risk of melanoma increased by 75% for people who started tanning before age 35.
Proponents also saw a way to help pay for Obamacare. The Congressional Joint Committee on Taxation projected that the tanning tax would raise $200 million in 2011, and as much as $2.7 billion total by 2019.
But the tax has fallen far short of those estimates. In 2015, the most recent year for which data is available, the IRS collected only about $78 million from the tax.
Opponents of the tax have been fighting it for years.
Reality television star Nicole Polizzi, Snooki from “Jersey Shore,” railed against the tax on the show.
The American Suntanning Association, a trade group that represents industry suppliers and roughly 1,000 tanning salons, says its research shows the tax halved the number of salons in the country and contributed to the loss of nearly 100,000 jobs.
On Tuesday, the organization praised the language in the Republican replacement plan.
“We applaud Congress for taking action to repeal this onerous and unfair tax, which has crippled an industry and hurt small business owners across the country,” the trade group’s president, Melinda Norton, said in a statement.