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Fee schedule approved for tattoo shops

Some practitioners could pay $534 for initial costs
By: Amber Marra, Journal Staff Writer
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The Placer County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a fee schedule in line with regulating tattoo and piercing shops at their meeting on Tuesday.

Assembly Bill 300, or the Safe Body Art Act, took effect July 1 and requires California practitioners to take a minimum of two hours of bloodborne pathogen training. Practitioners also have to register with an appointed enforcement agency to regulate sterilization and cleanliness standards in their respective county.

In Placer County, that appointed enforcement agency is the Health and Human Services Department Environmental Health Division. The bloodborne pathogen class must be taken through the California Conference of Directors of Environmental Health, which costs practitioners $40 per session and covers the transmission, control and symptoms of diseases caused by bloodborne pathogens.

On Tuesday, Ken Stuart, interim director of the Environmental Health Division, brought forth a list of fees to the board of supervisors associated with the Safe Body Art Act. The fees range from $40, for a mechanical stud or ear piercing facility or a temporary ear piercing booth, to $214 for a permanent facility's annual permit.

Facilities can also be charged up to $320 for the "plan check" of a new permanent facility.

Stuart said the fees for Placer County have been modeled after those in Sacramento, Nevada, and Monterey counties. Invoices will be sent out to shops in September.

"Fees included are based on the projected time state mandated action, such as registration and review of credentials, will take," Stuart said. "The fees in Placer County are equal to or slightly less than those in the compared counties."

Previously, tattoo and piercing shops only had to register as a business within their respective counties. They also had to have a copy of their county's sanitation and sterilization standards on hand and pay a one-time $25 registration fee.

Stuart told the board of supervisors that the body art and piercing industry has been cooperative thus far and that the first year's fees will come to $33,000 for all of the shops in Placer County. In its second year it will come to around $23,000 because most shops will have already paid the initial, one-time fees.

Jesse Fuller, co-owner of Syndicate Tattoo in Auburn, was the lone practitioner to speak at Tuesday's board of supervisors meeting.

"We are in full support of the bill," Fuller said during the meeting.

Fuller did point out that under the fee schedule, as both a practitioner and owner, he is required to pay the $214 fee for an annual permit for a permanent facility, $160 for the initial application, $80 for the annual registration as a body art practitioner and another $80 for the initial application as a body art practitioner.

While Fuller is adamant that the Safe Body Art Act is a necessary bill, he would like to see some of those fees either reduced or combined in some way to cut down on the cost for those practitioners who are also owners.

"I think the bill itself will weed out people that don't belong in this business and only leave the good, clean shops," Fuller said after the meeting.

Stuart said Sacramento County has approved a reduction in fees for practitioners who are also owners and that the fee schedule can be revisited next year.

Brigit Barnes, an attorney with the city of Colfax, also approached the board on Tuesday. Barnes was concerned about the amount of time there will be for inspections when it comes to temporary body art or piercing events.

Jennifer Montgomery, chairwoman of the board of supervisors, addressed both issues brought up before the motion passed unanimously.

"I would like to adopt this with the direction that we would revisit this in the next year so we can evaluate the owner/operator issue. I would also like staff to work with cities on the temporary events to make sure that does flow appropriately," Montgomery said.

Back at Syndicate Tattoos, Fuller's shop, John Perkins, originally of Auburn and now lives in Fort Bragg, was getting a grizzly bear tattooed on his arm.

Fuller made the point that the regulation that falls under the Safe Body Art Act should make customers feel safer when they come into shops.

Perkins couldn't agree more, though he's always felt secure at Syndicate even before the law passed.

"It's about time," he said.

Contact Amber Marra at amberm@goldcountrymedia.com. Follow her on Twitter @Amber_AJNews.