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Adam Forgette, a body piercer at Skin Thrills Tattoo and Body Piercing in Roanoke, said that reputable tattoo and piercing shops would be able to afford the increase - but it might push others to the margins.

“If they up it, cool. If they don’t up it, that’s cool,” he said. “People that don’t work in a more renowned shop or parlor or studio - I can see them putting it off indefinitely. It’s hard to catch people tattooing out of their house, and there’s no consequences for the damage they’re doing to people.”

Ms. Broz-Vaughan said the department was sympathetic to the effects the fee increases might have on people, but they were necessary.

“In this situation, this is not a discretionary increase,” she said. “At the end of the day, it’s just math.”

The board examined alternatives - such as reducing random inspections of licensed facilities and cutbacks in service - but decided against it, she said.

Which may be a good thing, Mr. Forgette said.

“If you have laws and you have regulations and you have guidelines, then there needs to be someone to enforce them,” he said. “We deal with easily infected areas and bodily fluids all day long. A lot of these other shops are just dirtballs.”