A 10 percent excise tax on tanning salon sessions goes into effect Thursday, but Grover Norquist has tanners covered: If they make less than $250,000 a year in family income, they can download an "Obama tax hike exemption card" from his Americans for Tax Reform website. The front of the card repeats the president's 2008 pledge that no family making less than that amount will see "any form of tax increase"; the back has a list of new and proposed taxes and fees.
The indoor tanning service fee is the first new tax created by the healthcare reform law to go into effect. Others are coming, including penalties for people who don't buy health insurance and businesses that don't provide affordable coverage; new excise taxes on health plans, medical device manufacturers and drug makers; and limits on the use of flexible spending accounts, health reimbursement arrangements and health savings accounts.
The tanning tax would raise a little less than $3 billion over 10 years, according to the Congressional Budget Office. Norquist says 30 million Americans a year visit tanning salons — and most make less than the president's cut-off amount.