LAYTON -- Tanners beware. You are about to get burned.
Those looking to soak up the artificial sun will soon be paying more to do so, as a new tanning tax has been included in the newly passed health care legislation.
Part of the new health reform bill adds a 10 percent tax to tanning-related services and is slated to take effect July 1.
Some involved in the tanning industry say they were not notified of the additional tax and have yet to receive information on how it will be implemented.
"There was no outreach to the industry, there was no hearings, there was no information-gathering, there was no nothing," said John Overstreet, executive director of the Indoor Tanning Association. "It's a classic case of what's wrong with Washington."
Overstreet said a recent recession has already affected the industry and the new tax will take another toll, but to what extent is unknown.
"Think about it, you raise prices 10 percent, you lose business," Overstreet said. "How much and who, it will vary."
Local tanning professionals have similar concerns.
Brian Moser, owner of Oasis Tanning salons in Layton and Roy, said the tax is ill-conceived and won't net the dollars that the government expects.
"The biggest issue is that the math doesn't add up," Moser said. "They are overestimating tanning revenues by as much as 50 percent, and it will cost the government more in revenue than what it raises when declining tanning revenue and administrative costs are factored in."
Moser also said the tax doesn't make economic sense and it will cost the community jobs and tax revenue.
In a weak economy, he said, the tax will hurt thousands of small, largely female-owned businesses nationwide, forcing many to close or lay off employees.
"They are focusing on small businesses during a really tough economic time," he said. "That doesn't make a lot of sense."
Moser said the tanning tax was added into the bill after cosmetic surgery professionals lobbied lawmakers to remove from the bill a tax on cosmetic surgery procedures.
"This tax started out as a tax on Botox," he said. "A tax that would have had less of an impact on society and would have raised more revenue to pay for this bill. It was removed for political reasons -- nothing more."
Kenny Siler, who owns Sun Stop Salon in Ogden, also said the tax will have a significant impact an local tanning salons.
"It will sink a lot of people," he said. "When you add 10 percent to a tanning package, that's an additional three or four bucks. People don't want to start paying more, especially in this economy."
-- Dickinson Press reporter Lisa Call contributed to this report.