All over the United States, the economy is causing state revenues to fall, resulting in budget shortages due to a loss of tax money. In addition to repealing state programs and cutting costs, many states are now looking for any new sources of revenue that may have been previously overlooked. And it turns out that the taxation of body art just might be getting a bit more expensive in the near future.
No one has to get up in arms about tattooing or body piercing being singled out. It turns out that there are many services which until now have been largely untouched by state taxation. Depending on which state you are talking about, these services can include manicures and pedicures, facials and other aesthetic beauty treatments, tanning salons and body art.
What was once a fringe practice is now a mainstream service industry that has branched out far beyond seaports and military towns. With the under-30 population becoming more and more comfortable being inked, tattoo parlors can now be found on Main St in Anytown, USA. Kids go to college with the ambitions to become tattoo artists. Also, all of the processes and procedures that are facing taxation are elective and non-essential. None of it is necessary, it's just stuff that people chose to do because they want to.
How much will such measures cause tattooing or body piercing to become more expensive? At this stage, there's no telling because it's just ideas that are starting to be bantered around by State Legislatures. Closer state regulation of tattooing and piercing will be a mixed blessing on the body art industry. Some illegal artists who operate unclean studios will come under greater fire, but that same stronger regulatory presence can result in parts of the business being driven more underground. Hopefully more regulation can lead to less instances of hepatitis and infectious diseases and not just become a means to squeeze more cash from people who already operate with a very slim profit margin. Then again would it be so bad if fewer drunken college students impulsively got poor-quality ink while on Spring Break?