Tan tax takes effect

IRMO (WACH) -- Consumers will have to start paying more if they want to fake bake.

The 10 percent tax on artificial tanning kicked in Thursday and the new charge is burning the tanning industry.

Supporters of the move are calling it a lifesaver because of the cancer risks, but it's a big blow to South Carolina salons since the state ranks fifth for the most tanning beds.

Megan Eigenbrot with Carolina Tan Factory in Irmo says customers have already started downgrading their packages, but she says many patrons think the added price is worth the added color.

"With the economy the way it is, it's difficult to keep customers. Now we have to charge them more," Eigenbrot says.

"It's not going to stop me from tanning," says customer Chip Shealy. "I'm tanorexic. I love the sun and I love to tan."

The 10 percent tan tax is part of President Obama's plan to offset the expense of his health care bill.

Officials estimate the measure will generate nearly $3 billion over the next ten years.