The withdrawal of the healthcare reform bill that would have repealed the tan tax was a disappointment to the ASA and the entire industry, however the ASA remains committed to the repeal effort and cautiously optimistic about the likelihood of the completion of the repeal in the near future. Despite the initial setback for comprehensive healthcare reform, the ASA lobbying team still recognizes three separate, viable paths to the completion of the repeal.
“We fully expect the tan tax to be repealed,” says ASA President Melinda Norton. “We’ve come so close already on multiple occasions, and we are continuing to aggressively pursue the repeal through several channels. This is priority No. 1 for your salon association.”
The first option remains the repeal and replacement of the Affordable Care Act via the reintroduction of a comprehensive healthcare reform bill that includes the tan tax repeal. After withdrawing the American Health Care Reform Act due to lack of support, Republican legislators are back to the drawing board, working on a new bill that will appeal to more members of Congress. The ASA lobbying team expects a new bill could be introduced as soon as May. In the mean time, the ASA lobbying team remains vigilant in its efforts to ensure that the tan tax repeal will remain in the new version of healthcare reform.
The second option is to repeal the tan tax as part of comprehensive tax reform. A tax reform bill, which will review the entire tax code, could be up for consideration by Congress by fall, and the tan tax repeal will be eligible to be included. The ASA lobbying team will continue to educate legislators on the failure of the tax: the lack of revenue it has generated, the nearly 10,000 businesses it has closed and the 96,000 people it has put out of jobs. With those factors considered, ASA is optimistic that the tan tax repeal would be included in tax reform.
The third option is the standalone tan tax repeal bill, H.R. 1150, drafted by Rep. George Holding of North Carolina. A similar bill, included in last year’s failed Affordable Care Act repeal effort, generated the support of 111 co-sponsors. New co-sponsors for the new bill are being added every week, and the expectation is that with a similar number of co-sponsors as last year’s bill, it would have a good chance of being vetted by Congress and signed into law by President Trump. The timetable for a standalone bill, however, is more difficult to estimate than the larger, comprehensive reform bills.
No matter what developments occur with any of these options, the ASA will continue its efforts to ensure that the tan tax is repealed through any available channels.
“We have people in D.C. who are promoting this issue and calling for the repeal of the tan tax everyday. We’re literally walking the halls of Congress urging them to repeal this tax,” Norton says.
While the ASA continues to generate support, it is vital for salon owners, employees and customers to continue to make their voices heard by legislators. The ASA has emailed forms to salons that make it easy to send a letter to your representatives. If you have not received that form via email or you have any questions about the repeal process, please contact the ASA at email@example.com or 855-879-7678.