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Allergan Sticks It to Tanning Centers: "Botax" Axed in Favor of Sun Bed Levy

Tanning parlor owners and the customers they serve can blame Allergan (AGN) CEO David Pyott for the new 10 percent tax they will have to charge once healthcare reform passes. For it was Pyott and Allergan whose lobbying persuaded Congress to scratch a 5 percent "Botax" on cosmetic procedures to help pay for health coverage in favor of the larger tax on tanning bed services, according to Reuters:
They argued the tax [on Botox] would unfairly hit middle-class, working women who make up a large portion of their patients, not just the wealthy.
Somehow that same logic doesn't apply to tanning parlors. BNET previously noted Allergan's absurd position that the Botax was a civil rights issue in November. At the time, Allergan spokesperson Caroline Van Hove was arguing:
... the tax "is a random hit on an easy target that is only punitive and not corrective."
She was joined by Medicis CEO Jonah Shacknai (who markets Dysport, a rival to Botox):
"What's next? Are we going to tax people who color their hair?"
I guess Allergan found an even easier target, and the answer to Shacknai's question is: "No, only those who color their skin."

The tanning lobby -- unbelievably, there is one! -- is outraged that even though their industry has absolutely nothing to do with the provision of healthcare, drug companies have nonetheless escaped an entirely reasonable levy and placed it on their shoulders:

"This is like Coke being allowed to lobby the government to tax Pepsi, but that Coke be allowed to sell the same product and not be taxed for it," International Smart Tan Network Vice President Joseph Levy said in a statement. "It's unbelievable."
Image by Flickr user Vancouver Laser & Skincare Centre, CC.
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