One of the most unsafe places for anyone to stand is between a woman and her hair appointment. The other is ten feet from a hornet's nest, with a nine foot pole. Both could produce some very similar responses.
And if you wanted to tax either of the above, well, you're going to need a lot more than a nine foot pole.
Jon Erpenbach (D-Middleton) will, too. He might start with holding Mark O'Connell, executive director of the Wisconsin Counties Association, by the ankles and let him reach for it.
Apparently salon services don't deserve
to be tax-exempt, according to O'Connell:
"I'd be fascinated to hear why hair salons, nail salons and barbershops deserve a tax break worth more than $29 million a year and why health clubs think they deserve a sales tax exemption valued at about $3.3 million a year, O'Connell said."
Let me offer some perspective. Number one, just because numerous items are taxed, doesn't mean anything should be taxed. That's the obvious one. Secondly, and Econ 101: it isn't the salon getting taxed, it's the flipping customer.
But let me tell you why they decided to do this.
Getting your hair did and going to a health club are in effect, self-care. These are two ways that people keep themselves up - something that should by all means be encouraged.
But here is what's dirty about this proposition.
Even when an economy goes through a rough patch, even when it's financially difficult, women and men who use salon services will find a way to make sure that they are able to maintain their appearance. For a woman, getting your hair done is important
. It is akin to buying nylons or work clothes, it is very basic self-care.
These weasels know that women will not stop going to the salon. Sure, they may opt to do their color every other visit to adjust if cost is an issue, but to opportunists like Erpenbach and O'Connell, they see this as a sure thing that cannot be "wiggled out of". It does put women, in particular, in the financial corner.
I don't use this word very often, and I will only use it if I mean it. Targeting the patrons of salon services - women - is Sexist. Women get their hair done and other services as basic upkeep. Some women are extraordinarily lucky if they are beautiful and their appearance is naturally low maintenance, but that is a small percentage of the population.
Women use salon services for a variety of reasons depending upon the woman - it can range from covering gray hair, maintaining an attractive appearance for the opposite sex, wanting to fit in, and this could be taken the wrong way but it's not intended the wrong way - women need to maintain appearance, neatness, health and attractiveness even for the success of their career. It all counts.
Why all the fuss?
Taxes get increased, we all know that. But why else?
A basic service, like I get every six to seven weeks, of a cut and foils costs me about $130. Why so much? I go to someone who can deliver high quality services that last that entire time. A crappy run of the mill job will have you going back to the salon in four weeks to the tune of about $70. But wait there's more - 15% tip. Just like at the bar, you tip well, you get good service.
So let's say a 5.6% tax on $130 bucks is $7.28. With all the women getting services done every day, year in and year out, that would be an absolute hauling. That is a sh*tload of money every year. And they know that they will get it and that there is no way out of it.
And it would put African American women at a VERY pointed disadvantage. The services are different and can cost more than services for women of other backgrounds. Depending upon the style they may need to go more often as well. And among African American females, what about the women who are poor and trying to better their careers and earn more money?
What's a lady to do?
Do you suppose O'Connell would at least hold us afterward??? Erpenbach???
I wouldn't plan on it.