July 1, 2010: The Tanning Tax Era BeginsS

Rise up—it's Tanning Salon Tax Day! All across America, men and women are being persecuted for their choice of skin tone by that commie Barack Obama. Hands off our tan lines, and pass the Banana Boat© spf 0!

Many Freedom-loving Americans are waking up today to even more proof that the Obama politburo is out to destroy everything that we hold dear, on this first day of the Tanning Tax Era. From now on, in order to get that crisp, orange hue you've come to know and love, you'll need to fork over an additional 10% in taxes to your salon (or—gasp!—go outdoors). Proponents hope that the tanning tax—like tobacco taxes—will deter people from making "unhealthy" choices. But how is it going to work? The Wall Street Journal tries to clear up the confusion:

It's a universal truth in Washington: There's no such thing as a simple tax. Free tans at video-rental stores might be taxable, but tanning services offered by health clubs mostly aren't, thanks to a late exemption. Ultraviolet tans are taxed. Spray tans aren't. Tanning salons are fretting over how to calculate unlimited memberships that combine taxed and non-taxed tans. Customers, meanwhile, have been racing to cram in tanning sessions to avoid the levy.

"It's just total confusion," said Ted Engen, president of Video Buyers Group in Coon Rapids, Minn., who has encouraged numerous video chains to add tanning services. "How come gyms got to be exempt?...Why don't we have that for the video side?"

As it stands, "qualified physical fitness facilities" that offer tanning services are exempt from the new taxes, which has angered many salon owners, like Rick Kueber, founder and chief executive of Sun Tan City:

If I had six treadmills in each of my stores, can I call myself a health club?"

No, Rick. You can't. The IRS says salons can't just offer "users access to exercise classes or pieces of exercise equipment" to avoid the tax. You're screwed. And the tanning salon lobby, headed up by Ohio Representative John Boehner, has failed you.

July 1, 2010: The Tanning Tax Era BeginsS

[In this May 25th Getty Images photo, Rep. John Boehner shows off his midseason form]