Activist Gets Elk Grove Manicure, Pedicure Tax Initiative Qualified For November Ballot

April 1, 2016 |

Irritated with the fumes emanating from the city's abundant nail salons, a group of Elk Grove residents has decided that if you can't beat them, tax them.

The newly formed group T.A.P.E - Taxpayers Against Polluted Environments - says they have qualified a ballot measure with the Sacramento County Voters Registrar for the November ballot that will seek to tax every manicure and pedicure performed in Elk Grove. The tax, if approved, would levy a $1 per finger and toe environmental impact tax on every manicure in Elk Grove.

The idea was spawned by Dr. Rollo Tomassi, PhD., who said the noxious fumes coming from nail salons have resulted in breathing problem for him and countless others in Elk Grove. Tomassi, a published economist in taxation policy and fellow at The Cato Insitute, said he came up with the idea by following the lead of the State of California's on cigarette taxes.

"The state has done an effective job of reducing tobacco use by education, and by tax policies that discourage negative behavior," Tomassi said. "Consequently, people are healthier, our air is much cleaner at work and public places, so why not apply these principles here in Elk Grove to help clean our air of the noxious fumes coming from the scores of nail salons in our community."

Tomassi, along with his working group of eight volunteers also drew inspiration from a New York Times story published last year chronicling health problems encountered by many manicurists.

The National Association of Manicurist Enterprises - N.A.M.E - spokesperson Michelle Lee said if the tax is approved, it will hurt Elk Grove's thriving manicure and pedicure industry.

"We provide an invaluable service for our clients," Lee said. "This will devastate an important source of employment in Elk Grove too." 

Regarding new revenue, Tomassi said there are about 65 salons providing manicures and pedicures in Elk Grove, and that each store would generate about $75,000 in tax revenues per year or about $4.8 in new revenue annually for the city. Because the tax increase is not for a specific use, it only requires a simple majority for voter approval. 

"That is not an insignificant amount of money," he said. "There are any number of ways the city can use this money to invest in our community. We are glad that we can help fund these spectacular projects, but we'll defer to their expertise on how to best use them."

If this measure succeeds, T.AP.E. said they will seek approval of a citywide ban on fragrance use in work and public places in 2018. Tomassi acknowledged the new tax is gender biased against women but said it is a luxury purchase that has adverse effects on the health of the community.

"I think these women will gladly pay the extra money so they can continue to look beautiful for their men," Tomassi said. "It's not like we are punishing women for being bad drivers or not having dinner ready for their husbands when they come home."   

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Tollbooth Willie said...

If this passes, then I want a drive-thru tax in Elk Grove, sort of like toll roads--another great potential source of income in Elk Grove.

Anonymous said...

Plus double the tax if the business is located in Laguna Ridge.

Anonymous said...

This has to be an April Fools Joke!!!

Anonymous said...

Yea, I'm thinking it is too. But a good one Mr. Dan...even has some truth to it.

Anonymous said...

The "help fund these spectacular projects" gave it away. Nobody's that stupid....well maybe they are....

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