Coalition applauds bill to repeal cosmetic surgery tax

The Coalition to Stop Medical Taxes applauds the introduction of a bill (A2282) to repeal New Jersey's tax on cosmetic surgery procedures. The tax was enacted in 2004 and has generated much less revenue than originally predicted a 72 percent shortfall. The repeal bill was introduced by Assemblyman Joseph Cryan, the original sponsor of the cosmetic surgery tax bill in 2004.

"We greatly respect the fact that Assemblyman Cryan has taken this step to repeal this tax," said Bruce Cunningham, MD, and ASPS president. "States around the country are grappling with funding issues. But taxing medical procedures is simply not the answer."

The New Jersey tax set a dangerous precedent when it became the first and only state to tax medical procedures during its 2004 legislative session. The tax was predicted to generate $24 million in its first year, but fell well short of expectations and brought in only $6.8 million. Despite the shortfall, lawmakers in states throughout the country saw a tax on cosmetic medical procedures as a viable means to fill state budget shortfalls. The poor revenue result and administrative challenges of New Jersey's tax illustrated the inadequacy of the law ultimately none of the states passed cosmetic medical procedure taxes in 2005.

"As a New Jersey citizen I fully appreciate the leadership that Assemblyman Cryan is demonstrating in his proposal to reverse this tax," said Peter Hetzler, MD, and past president of the New Jersey Society of Plastic Surgeons. "As a physician, I am thrilled because the idea of taxing medical procedures made me very uneasy. I was very concerned about the detrimental effects this tax could have on patients, the medical community, not to mention the integrity of the healthcare system."


Contact: LaSandra Cooper
American Society of Plastic Surgeons

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