Tax Law Impacts Nail Salons and Other Pampering Services
Published: Sunday, September 18, 2011
Updated: Monday, September 19, 2011 12:09
Thinking of a cheap, carefree way to pass the time? Well, if you're opting to take a drive, get a manicure, go shopping or visit the spa, brace yourself. A recent Connecticut tax law that went into effect on July 1 of this year will have you spending a little more than you bargained for.
Realistically, this state sales tax isn't hacking hundreds of dollars off of your scant college budget, but it is slightly chipping away at your stash. And, get this – it affects each and every one of us.
The state of Connecticut recently enforced a .35 percent tax increase on goods and services that were once off the hook. The total sales tax, which was raised from 6 percent to 6.35 percent, has been implemented on a number of services and merchandise. Consignment shops are not even exempt from this law.
Oddly enough, this tax appears to tackle frivolous activities that involve pampering or pleasure. The following services are all a part of the tax increase; manicures, pedicures, and all other nail salon services, yoga classes held in a studio, yacht repairs, limousine rides, airport valet parking services, cosmetic surgery, motor vehicle storage services, pet grooming services, spa services, non-prescription drugs and vitamins and hotel room services, just to name a few. In addition to these increases, retail under $50, such as clothing and shoes, and materials, such as fabric and yarn for recreational sewing, are also part of the tax increase.
To put this into perspective of nail pampering, this tax adds about $1 to a $12 manicure. Although it may not seem like a drastic change, it can become costly over time. For example, ladies that get manicures twice a month will now spend an additional $24 per year. So, you may want to think twice about visiting a salon and beautifying your nails the old-fashioned way instead.
Jung Lee, a nail stylist at the Color Spa & Nail salon off of Whitney Avenue, expressed her disgust about the new tax.
"I'm very unhappy," Lee said.
She explained that the tax forces her to calculate the additional tax money and send the total amount to the government every three months. Not only is it a hassle for Lee, but it is frustrating for regular customers who are now hit with a sudden increase in cost.
"I noticed that the other day when I went to get my nails done!" said Nicole Vece, a senior at Quinnipiac University and Westchester County resident, via e-mail. "I went to pay and they had a chart behind the counter calculating if the service cost was ‘x' amount then with tax added it would be this amount. I grew up really close to Connecticut so I always used to shop and get my nails done up here (because it was tax free), so this tax increase is a shocker to me."
For those purchasing alcohol or cigarettes– you're in for a rude awakening, because the tax added extra change to both of those products. Cigarettes increased by a whopping 40 cents per pack, reaching a total of $3.40 solely in taxes to each package of smokes. The price of alcohol was not increased as severely as cigarettes, but a couple cents will be hacked onto the price of booze.
When the tax was still undergoing finalization, haircuts, car washes, gasoline and "live music in bars" were not exempt. However, before the tax was officially enforced, these items were removed from the list and remain untaxed. Luckily, the tax also does not affect food sold at supermarkets; although restaurant sales are taxed. Taking the time to make a home-cooked meal now seems like a more sensible choice than grabbing something on-the-go.
Ultimately, the reason for these tax increases is the result of Governor Dannel P. Malloy's plan to take in 1.5 billion from tax increases on previously overlooked goods and services, in addition to increased taxes on the high and middle classes.
As Quinnipiac University college students from all over the United States, mainly from neighboring states of Connecticut, we need to be aware of these taxes. Many of us who are not residents of Connecticut can easily be hit by the changes in price of these goods and services, yet remain completely unaware the tax was enforced whatsoever.
Keep in mind when partaking in any of these services or purchasing any of these goods, that you are now spending a little more than anticipated, and it will make it easier to budget your money wisely.