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A Higher Cost for Beauty?

State Rep. Phyllis Kahn (D-Minneapolis), wants to extend Minnesota's 6.5 percent sales tax to cosmetic surgery and in-office procedures including chemical skin peels, laser hair removal, cosmetic injections and spider vein treatments.

Any person with the money for cosmetic surgery can afford to pay the tax, said Kahn.

Kahn's bill excludes medically necessary procedures, like as facial reconstruction after an accident. It also wouldn't apply to laser eye surgery.

New Jersey became the only state that taxes cosmetic surgery back in 2005, collecting an estimated $11 million this year. But cosmetic surgery taxes have been proposed in other states like Texas, Illinois and Washington. Kahn said the tax would raise about $7 million per year.

Most of that money would come from hardworking women trying to "do something for themselves once in a while," said Dr. Richard D'Amico, president-elect of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. He said 90 percent of cosmetic surgery patients are female, with a yearly income average of $60,000.

The Minnesota proposal is scheduled for its first hearing before a House tax panel today.

http://www.twincities.com/mld/twincities/news/state/minnesota/16734324.htm