In advance of tomorrow’s hearing on the legislation, the Independent Budget Office (IBO) has issued a financial assessment regarding the potential cost of the salon and spa letter grading program proposed by Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.

The IBO analysis, which was requested by Borough President Diaz, shows that a salon and spa letter grading program would cost the city $7.2 million at the high end. This would provide for the twice-yearly inspection of each of the more than 5,300 nail salons, beauty salons and other personal care facilities located throughout the city. The cost could vary depending on specific changes made to the city’s health code and facilities covered under such an inspection system.

“I would like to thank the Independent Budget Office for taking the time to score the potential cost of this major public health initiative,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. “While we should not put a price tag on the health and well-being of our city and its residents, the IBO’s analysis suggests this program would be incredibly cost-effective. We can provide for the health and safety of salon customers and employees without placing a major burden on the city’s budget.”

The IBO’s analysis of the program can be read at

Bronx Borough President Diaz will testify on Friday before a joint hearing of the New York City Council’s Committees on Consumer Affairs and Health in support of a legislative package concerning the creation of a “Nail & Beauty Salon” letter grading system, similar to one used by the food and dining industry in New York City, which he initially proposed last year.

The legislative package would allow for the creation of a system of letter grades for cosmetology businesses, based on the existing restaurant letter grading system already in effect in this city. It would also create a ‘Customers’ Bill of Rights’ for such establishments, and call on the State to expand training options available for licensed cosmetology professionals.

The legislation was introduced to the City Council at the borough president’s behest by Council Member Rafael Espinal, chairman of the Council’s Committee on Consumer Affairs.

“I would like to thank IBO for their analysis on the cost of establishing a letter grade inspection system for nail salons and other personal care facilities. When Borough President Diaz and I first introduced this legislative package, it was our goal to ensure that consumers are protected and have the necessary tools to make informed decisions when seeking cosmetology services, without overburdening our city’s finances or hurting businesses that are trying to do the right thing by following health and safety protocols. Going by IBO’s estimates, it seems like the city could achieve those goals by implementing an expanded inspection system at a reasonable cost,” stated Council Member Rafael L. Espinal, Jr., the Chair of the Council’s Consumer Affairs Committee.

The complete agenda for the joint hearing can be found at


WHAT: Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. testifies in support of the creation of a letter grading system for nail and beauty salons, as well as other cosmetology businesses.

WHEN: Wednesday, May 1, 2015, 10 a.m.

WHERE: New York City Council Chambers, City Hall