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I spend a lot of time on the blog evaluating the need for regulations and licensing of tattoo artists and their studios in places where there are no such licensing or regulations. Now, I realise that in order to maintain these types of regulated systems that money will eventually have to exchange hands and that yes, it will cost tattooists a little bit here and there. However, I also feel that some local governments are beginning to see what a potential cash cow that tattooing can be and governments being governments, well…they want their cut of the green.
The most recent evidence of this comes from Missouri where state government officials have proposed a raise in tattoo licensing fees which will bump things up quite a bit from the current $30 to $100. This increase is said to be capable of generating more revenue for the state (no kidding), bringing in roughly $120,000 over the two year licensing period. The state however, is quick to not simply rest on the defence that this revenue will help the state. They’ve also argued that the state needs this increase in fees in order to ensure that tattooists give tattoos “the correct way”.
Hmm…I find it interesting that up until now Missouri has had no problem charging tattooists $30 for their licensing fees and that it suddenly takes $70 more to ensure that tattooists are properly doing their job. True, the tattoo and body piercing industry has increased in Missouri by 33% since 2005, which could ostensibly account for the need to raise the cost of the license. Still, from $30 to $100 is quite a jump. I’d like to know exactly what the Missouri state government does to ensure that tattooists are giving tattoos in the correct way once this licensing fee is paid. Are officials doing inspections at tattoo and body piercing studios? And if so, how often? I’d really like to hear from some Missouri artists on this one to help give a better overall view of the situation. So, if you live in Missouri and you tattoo or body pierce, do let us know what the situation is like there.
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