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Councilors to Discuss Changes to Tattoo Ordinance

Proposed changes to a city ordinance would mean artists at Wichita Falls tattoo parlors will be paying more fees.  Despite potentially having to pay more money to practice, many tattoo artists are actually in favor of the fees.
    Changes to a city ordinance would mean owners of tattoo parlors and tattoo artists themselves would pay more money to keep practicing.
    But they don't seem to mind.
    "Overall I think it's a good idea just to help the industry," says AJ Kappes, a tattoo artist at Abstract Ink Tattoos and Body Piercings.
    Three new fees would be established.
    One is an apprenticeship fee of $100.
    That means a person who's learning the art under direct supervision would pay a one time fee solidifying their year of training.
    "The apprenticeship fee is a great idea because it will help the city keep track of apprentices more.  They used to not really do that.  It was more of a trust thing, like you sign a piece of paper and get your license and that's it," Kappes says.
    The second is a temporary artist fee of $100.
    So if an out-of-town artist wants to temporarily work in a local tattoo parlor while passing through town, they'd have to pay in order to do so.
    "Say if we want a really good artist to do a guest spot for a week or two, then we'll allow that without them having to pay $500 for an annual fee," Kappes says.
    Last is a testing fee of $50.
    Members of the Wichita Falls-Wichita County Health Department say a survey of fees show the new fees would be in line with other jurisdictions.
    There was not a request to increase existing fees.
    City councilors will discuss this ordinance at Tuesday's city council meeting.
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