Today’s Wall Street Journal reports that New Jersey is leading the way with a tax on cosmetic surgery. The 6% tax is a big money maker considering the size and growth of the field. See The Nose-Job Tax.
Proponents tout the tax as a way to pay for popular programs like health care for poor children. But not surprisingly plastic surgeons don’t like the tax and are attempting to change the terms of the debate. As far as they’re concerned it’s not a vanity tax, Botax, or nose job tax, but rather a tax that discriminates against women –who represent the overwhelming majority of patients– and the middle class, since many seeking plastic surgery fall within that category.
Plastic surgeons are used to changing unattractive physical realities, but I doubt they have the skill set to do the same with their own public images. Look for the tax to spread to other states.
Everyone has had so much fun thinking up nicknames for the cosmetic surgery tax that they may be tempted to propose taxes on Erectile Dysfunction drugs and the emerging category of Premature Ejaculation Control drugs just so they can come up with some clever names for those taxes as well.June 1, 2005