WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Indoor Tanning Association has redefined its strategy to help repeal the Tan Tax, and the organization wants tanning salon professionals to get involved.
If salon owners wish to see the Tan Tax repealed, there are a few things they have to accept. First, that President Barrack Obama was elected to a second term; second, that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was not repealed; and, lastly, that the Supreme Court of the United States upheld the bill. In other words, the national healthcare plan is now the law of the land. Members of the tanning industry must now refocus their efforts upon repealing the Tan Tax; to do that, they must appeal to Democrats as well as Republicans.
The ITA’s new strategy to repeal the Tan Tax places enhanced emphasis on reaching out to elected officials. “Last year, it seemed that the Democratic lawmakers were more interested in protecting the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act than they were in discussing its specific flaws,” said John Overstreet, ITA Executive Director. “As a result, while we were fortunate to have two Republican lawmakers – Rep. Michael Grimm (NY) and Sen. Olympia Snowe (ME) – introduce bills to repeal the Tan Tax in the House and the Senate, only one Democrat Senator signed on. In the end, neither bill garnered enough support to pass nor was there ever a comprehensive tax package on which to attach the repeal language. We knew it was important to fight for it, anyway, because it’s extremely important to everyone in our industry.”
Overstreet says the winds have shifted in 2013 and the Democrats are willing to admit that some aspects of the healthcare bill need to be fixed. “Our goal is to convince them that repealing the Tan Tax is one of them,” he explained. “We plan to convince them that placing the funding for the bill squarely upon the backs of hardworking tanning salon owners and their customers is not a good idea. Since jobs are the big talk on Capitol Hill right now, we hope to show lawmakers that the Tan Tax is costing jobs – and closing tanning salons – in their districts.” Overstreet added that the Tan Tax is what some lawmakers consider a “nuisance tax” – one that costs more to enforce than the amount of revenue it generates – and legislators need to be made aware of this, too.
For the ITA’s efforts to repeal the Tan Tax to succeed, Overstreet says, salon pros must get involved. The most important way to do this is by joining the ITA, the organization that protects your right to tan. Whether you are an ITA member or not, you can join your colleagues at the organization’s Industry Summit, scheduled for May 21-22 in Washington, D.C. “Rep. Grimm has agreed to reintroduce his bill to the House of Representatives , and members of this industry can help recruit co-sponsors,” Overstreet said. “We will connect salon industry professionals with elected officials from their home states, so they can tell their Congressmen and Senators about the devastating impact the Tan Tax is having on their businesses. We will provide information for attendees to share with lawmakers during their meetings.”
To help promote the tanning industry’s best interests, the ITA encourages salon owners to connect with their local lawmakers and establish relationships with them. “As a paid representative for the ITA, I’m constantly talking with lawmakers all across the country; but it’s the voices of the voters in these politicians’ districts that really make the difference,” Overstreet said. “We encourage salon owners to reach out to their elected officials and get to know them on a first-name basis, because these relationships will be very helpful now, and in the future. By getting to know your lawmakers, you show them that those of us in the tanning industry are decent, honest, hardworking people who pay our taxes and, more importantly, create jobs in their states.”
Overstreet and the ITA’s Board of Directors want to help all salon owners who wish to become more politically involved. Those considering making contact with their state lawmakers – and becoming a member of the ITA – are urged to contact the organization for more information.
A 14-year industry veteran, John "Ribby" Ribner has written hundreds of
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helped guide the publication's evolution. Ribby is a graduate of Central
Michigan University's journalism program and has brought many years of newspaper reporting experience to his position of Head Writer. He is also the author of three novels, "Legacy of the Bear," "Prophecy of the Bear" and "World So Dark."
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