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A Letter in Support of H.R. 2092, Repealing the Regressive Tax on Indoor Tanning Salons!

June 3, 2011

The Honorable Michael Grimm
United States House of Representatives
512 Cannon House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515

Dear Congressman Grimm:

On behalf of the 362,000 members of the National Taxpayers Union (NTU), I write in support of H.R. 2092 which would repeal the regressive tax on indoor tanning salons contained in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA).

NTU has long argued that America’s health care system is ripe for reform. Ever-rising costs have made it difficult for many to afford insurance, our employer-centric system of coverage has undermined the cost conscious patient-provider relationship, and a complicated web of regulations prevent market forces from operating effectively. Rather than address these issues, PPACA raised taxes and pushed a greater portion of our health care system into a federal government bureaucracy.

One of the taxes included in the health care bill, in an attempt to offset its $940 billion pricetag, was a 10 percent tax on tanning services. The history of the tax’s development reveals it to be little more than a thinly veiled attempt to squeeze a politically convenient target for additional revenues. Following the removal of the tax on cosmetic procedures, PPACA’s authors began searching for a new scapegoat. The result was a discriminatory tax hike on indoor tanning salons, most of which are independent small businesses that lack resources or influence in Washington.

This blatant revenue grab could punish 18,000 small businesses across the country, jeopardizing thousands of jobs. Furthermore, it is a clear violation of President Obama’s “firm pledge” not to raise “any form” of taxes on families with incomes less than $250,000.  Even more worrisome, the tanning tax highlights the government’s increasingly brazen attempts to coercively modify our lifestyles through misguided tax and regulatory policies.

Rather than being forced to endure a scheme that singles out small businesses for burdensome regulations and expensive taxes, America deserves a health care reform package that actually delivers on a promise to lower costs while maintaining quality. Your bill represents a positive step towards the goal of defunding, repealing, and replacing PPACA with an alternative focused on improving choices and reducing the financial burden on taxpayers. For that reason, NTU supports H.R. 2092 and any roll call votes on this legislation will be significantly weighted in our annual Rating of Congress.

Brandon Greife
Federal Government Affairs Manager