Bill Proposes Tax on Plastic Surgery
Minnesota state Representative Phyllis Kahn wants to extend Minnesota's 6.5 percent sales tax to include cosmetic surgery and appearance-enhancing procedures, according to an AP report (http://www.startribune.com/587/story/1011675.html).
Some of the procedures include chemical skin peels, laser hair removal, cosmetic injections, breast implants and spider-vein treatments.
Kahn said that those who can afford plastic surgery can also afford the tax. She also said the tax would raise $7 million a year.
The proposal had its first hearing before a House tax panel Monday. So far, no vote has been taken.
The bill excludes medically necessary procedures, such as facial reconstruction resulting from an accident. It also wouldn't apply to laser eye surgery or certain important dental procedures.
According to the St. Paul Pioneer Press, Rep. Ann Lenczewski, DFL-Bloomington, said there was only a slight chance of adding it to a larger tax bill later in the session (http://www.twincities.com/mld/twincities/news/16736466.htm).
Currently only New Jersey levies a sales tax on comestic procedures. Dr. George Landis of the Minnesota Medical Association said it would be difficult to determine which procedures are simply cosmetic and which aren't.
The AP article is a hard news story that just scratches the surface. It touches the main components of the story and gives the reader an idea of what sort of bill Kahn wants to pass. However, it lacks any conflict and comes off as dry and static. The Pioneer Press article presents much more depth. There are several quotes instead of paraphrasing, and the reader gets the perspective of several people who disagree with the bill. I also found it interesting that the AP article tried to jam tons of information in the lead, while the Press article had a very short lead that was more of a teaser than a summary. The Press article also discusses the possibility of the bill passing in the House committee, while the AP article doesn't delve very deeply into the political context.