Get ready for the tanning tax

June 30, 2010

This article originally appeared on CNN.com.

Put away those plastic mini-goggles and grab your favorite tube of self-tanner. The first new tax to fund health care reform goes into effect Thursday — a 10 percent excise tax on indoor tanning services.

The tanning industry is just the latest victim of government paternalism, putting it in the same category as cigarettes, alcohol, gambling, sodas, trans fats, junk food and other targets of so-called “sin taxes.”

Desperate for revenue and lacking the guts to curtail big special-interest tax breaks such as the employer-provided health insurance exclusion or the mortgage interest deduction, congressional leaders and the president have singled out a politically vulnerable target. Kind of like a pride of lions singling out the weakest wildebeest. …

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