New Jersey May Cut Tax on Plastic Surgery

K. Mathews on 10 Jan 2012 at 5:00pm

New Jersey is currently in the process of repealing a law that taxes elective cosmetic surgeries. Since 2004, the state has charged an extra 6% on procedures in order to raise revenues. Opponents of the tax argue that the tax costs New Jersey more money than it brings in, as it drives patients to have their surgeries performed outside of the state instead.

The battle to end the tax has been ongoing since 2006, when the state legislature voted to overturn the tax. However, the governor at the time, Jon Corzine, vetoed the bill. Political analysts suspect that, due to his pro-business stances, current governor Chris Christie will approve the bill now that New Jersey lawmakers have passed it again.

The only other state in the country with a similar tax is Connecticut, which tacks on an additional 6.35% to elective surgeries.

Organizations including the New Jersey Society of Plastic Surgeons and the New Jersey Association of Ambulatory Surgery Centers have voiced their support for the end of the tax. Others are less enthusiastic about the potential change, noting that the money generated from the 6% tax has provided uninsured hospital patients with $10.8 million, which the federal government then matches dollar for dollar, this past year alone.

If the governor does sign the bill, New Jersey will gradually lower the tax on its cosmetic procedures until 2014 when it will be eliminated altogether.

What do you think?