Burning up over tanning tax

Burning up over tanning tax

The new health-reform act surprised many Americans with the institution of a tax on tanning. That tax that took effect in July will harm consumers, damage business owners, hurt employees and disrupt families.

The tanning tax has raised the normal Ohio sales tax of 6.5 percent to an extreme high of 16.5 percent on all tanning packages. This affects small businesses, causing many to close or lay off employees. According to Joseph Levy from the Smart Tan Network, 9,000 jobs and 1,000 salons are in jeopardy. (CNN, 2010)

In the Mahoning Valley alone, several tanning salons have been forced to close for good because of the decline of business caused by this extra tax.

Not only does it raise prices, but it also affects the business owners, employees and families of both. With loss of revenue and loss of employee hours, families aren’t able to survive as they have in the past. This is exactly what our already fragile economy does not need.

The unfair tax bypassed the regular legislative process. The original tax was supposed to be for laser cosmetic surgeries, but at the last minute legislators changed it to target the indoor-tanning industry. There was nothing fair about changing this provision at the last possible second, and no one was able to fight it considering very few knew about it.

In an effort to save salons, several salon owners and employees have started petitions to urge Congress and President Obama to change their minds. Please take a minute of time to email your senators and congressman. Contact email and phone information is available at www.repealtantax.com.

Stacey Vickers, Niles

Beware of the change

Everyone voted for change and that is what we’ll get. What the people who voted for change don’t realize is that the change we are about to see will not be good.

This area will not see any help from Columbus. It will be a long time before Mr. Kasich ever steps foot in Mahoning, Trumbull or Columbiana counties. I would advise all counties to begin planning their cutbacks now; it wont be long before they will have to be implemented.

If the people who voted for change think Mr. Kasich will have any interest in the struggles of this Valley, I think they will be mistaken. This will more than likely happen on the national level as well.

We will once again be the forgotten Valley.

Tom Clark, Youngstown