Tan Tax Repeal
The American Suntanning Association’s state and federal lobby team have been working overtime on behalf of the industry during the COVID-19 crisis. Significant efforts were made to get the tan tax repeal language put into the first three coronavirus stimulus packages as well as other measures. This was made even more difficult due to the inability to meet with House and Senate Members face-to-face, which is usually the case when ASA President Melinda Norton travels to Washington once or twice a month. To make matters worse, everyone in DC was overwhelmed with health and economic issues related to the worst pandemic to hit the US in decades. “Trying to make our issues a priority is a big enough challenge when you’re alone in their offices,” said Norton. “Getting your voice heard in the middle of a crisis, through emails and phone calls, made it nearly impossible.” At the end of the day, the tan tax repeal language was rejected by Speaker Nancy Pelosi thwarting Republican attempts to help tanning salon businesses by including it.
Tan Tax Payment Delay
Along with pushing for a total Tan Tax repeal, ASA’s federal lobby team was also beating the drum to get the 10% federal excise tax on tanning deferred several months to give our market time to get much needed financial assistance before having to write our first-quarter tan tax checks due on April 30. Melinda Norton and the Washington team contacted more than 150 members of Congress and the Senate encouraging them to contact the Treasury asking for a delay in in the tan tax due date, and more than half reported that they contacted the Treasury on our behalf. Additionally, Melinda Norton sent a personal letter to Ivanka Trump asking for her assistance to support the women-owned tanning salon businesses from the harm caused by the tan tax and the coronavirus crisis.