Tea Party members are going to be so pissed about this. TurboTax recently outed some of the weirdest taxes around the USA, and if you have a dog or a cat in North Carolina, you're going to have to pay Uncle Sam a little bit extra for the privilege.
Of course, that might not seem as outrageous if you're a drug dealer in Tennessee and your crack is also being taxed by the state. Want your bagel sliced in New York? Take it whole, or pay the slice tax. (But then you can't get it scooped out, toasted, and with cream cheese -- dangit!)
Some of these taxes may seem completely bizarre -- like the flushing your toilet tax in Maryland -- but others make a strange kind of sense. Here are some wacky taxes, explained.
When you go to a restaurant in New York, you pay a tax on your meal. If you buy certain foods in New York at the deli or grocery store, you don't. The idea is you're paying more for the service. Hence, if you buy a bagel and take it home, you're buying a grocery store item. If someone cuts it open for you and gives it a schmear, you're going to pay for the luxury.
Sparkler & Novelty Fee
Having grown up in the midwest/south'ish, I've seen my fair share of accidents on the 4th of July. I'm only guessing that Tennesseans have as well, hence the $15 fee on business owners who sell a detailed list of items including sparklers and noise makers. After all, someone's got to pay for the fire department and ambulance that follows.
As someone who was all for the soda tax (it's not a necessity, people), I can also get behind the candy tax in Chicago. Candy is taxed at five times the rate of other food. Foods that contain flour and require refrigeration are exempt, which makes me think someone was also going for processed foods when they passed this tax in 2009. I wonder if Michelle Obama weighed in on this "sin" tax?
Since California first levied this tax on the Lakers rival, the Chicago Bulls, one might assume it was a tactic to psyche out the pro basketball team. But as many other states adopted this tax on the business traveler, the idea becomes more clear. If you work in another state, and earn income, you must be taxed. There are seemingly a lot of variables, including how much time you spent in said state, and how much your annual income is as well.
Fur Coat Tax
As someone who does not condone fur, I can see how the higher tax on this luxury item came about. However, it hardly seems fair that Minnesota is the state that makes businesses pay a 6.5% tax on any clothing item that uses fur as the majority material. It's damn cold in Minnesota!
What's the weirdest tax you've ever paid?
Image via alan_cleaver2000/Flickr