A bill introduced in the Minnesota legislature would tax citizens on plastic surgery.

State Rep Phyllis Kahn is pushing to extend the state’s 6.5% sales tax to include aesthetic surgery and enhancing procedures such as chemical skin peels, laser hair removal, filler injections, and spider-vein treatments.

Anybody who has the money for plastic surgery can afford to pay the tax,” says Kahn. “There aren’t a lot of homeless people and there aren’t a lot of people who don’t have enough money for food who are getting optional cosmetic surgery,” she says.

Kahn says her proposal would raise about $7 million a year.

According to  Richard D’Amico, MD, president-elect of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, most of that money would come from the bank accounts of hardworking women because 90% of plastic-surgery patients are female, with annual incomes averaging about $60,000.

New Jersey is currently the only state that taxes aesthetic surgery. According to reports, it raked in $8 million last year with its 6% tax. The tax in New Jersey enacted in 2004 Legislature voted to repeal in December 2006, but this was vetoed by Gov John Corzine and it is unclear as to whether Legislature will override the veto.

[www.suntimes.com, February 21, 2007]