Feature image: Left to right: Noelle Lundberg, Peter Garzone, Senator Olympia Snowe, Tiffany Conway, and Frank Zona during PBA Lobby Day

PBA members from nearly a dozen U.S. states participated in more than thirty meetings on Capitol Hill this past May 25 for PBA’s 2011 Lobby Day.The focus of the day – to  urge Congressional members to support and co-sponsor the Small Business Tax Equalization and Compliance Act, commonly referred to in the industry as the FICA Tip Tax Credit, which was introduced earlier this year.

Current champions for this important industry legislation include Senator Olympia Snowe of Maine, Senator Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, Congressman Sam Johnson of Texas, and Congresswoman Shelley Berkeley of Nevada. PBA and the industry are grateful to have the support and leadership of these members of Congress.

FICA Tip Tax Credit would provide a dollar-for-dollar credit in FICA (social security and Medicare) taxes paid on employee tips, which is currently the responsibility of the employer”

The Small Business Tax Equalization and Compliance Act, or FICA Tip Tax Credit, would provide a dollar-for-dollar credit in FICA (social security and Medicare) taxes paid on employee tips. Currently, salon/spa owners are responsible for paying FICA taxes on tips received by beauty professionals employed by their business. This type of credit already exists for the restaurant industry, another industry where employees receive a large portion of their salaries through customer tips. PBA and its members are asking Congress to extend this tax credit to the professional beauty industry. Both Senate Bill 974 and House Bill 1957 have been introduced in Congress and was the focus of PBA’s grassroots efforts during Lobby Day.

PBA Lobby Day met a delightful conclusion as PBA and its members participated in Welcome to Our World, an annual event held in Washington D.C. and sponsored by the Professional Beauty Federation (PBF).  PBF’s 2011 Welcome to Our World event hosted more than 600 attendees, including a welcomed visit from Congressman John Lewis of Georgia and Congressman Patrick Meehan of Pennsylvania.

The success of Lobby Day and the grassroots advocacy in support of the FICA Tip Tax Credit legislation is not possible without the participation of YOU – our PBA members.  Thank you to everyone who volunteered their time and efforts in Washington D.C. and to all of our members who take the time everyday to stay informed and speak out on the important issues affecting the industry and its professionals.

For more information or to learn how you can get involved and support the FICA Tip Tax Credit and other important issues, visit probeauty.org/advocacy or contact Myra Irizarry at myra@probeauty.org.