There’s an old adage that says nothing is certain in life except death and taxes. It’s bad enough the United States is one of the most taxed nations on the planet, but there are some pretty whacky state taxes you probably didn’t even know existed.
One of the craziest, for starters, is a bagel cutting tax. Seems to be a lox of nonsense to be charged an extra eight cents for a bagel that’s pre-sliced or ready to eat, but that’s the reality New Yorkers face. If you’re an avid bagel eater in that state, you might want BYOBC (bring your own bagel cutter). Check out some of these other weird taxes:
It costs Maryland residents about $60 a year to use the toilet. The “flush” tax, also known as the Chesapeake Bay Restoration Fee, is money down the drain!
Crazy crack tax
Nebraska, Tennessee and Alabama actually even charge a tax for doing something that’s totally illegal — selling drugs. This is definitely one of the strangest whacky state taxes, for sure. Drug dealers in Nebraska have to purchase a drug stamp for their contraband, while Tennessee requires anyone possessing illegal drugs to buy a drug stamp as per the Unauthorized Substances Tax or “crack” tax. Meanwhile, anyone caught with illegal drugs in Alabama, but who can’t prove purchasing a tax stamp, could also be charged with tax evasion as well as possession.
If you plan on buying a pumpkin in New Jersey to make pie, then you won’t have to pay tax on the oversized gourd. But, if the pumpkin is varnished, painted, cut or sold as a decoration, you’ll have to pay sales tax on it. Orange in the new tax!
Don’t flip your lid
All non-essential packaging in Colorado gets slapped with a 2.9% tax. Included in this gang as coffee lids, straws, stir stick and cup sleeves. You might want to carry your own mug or thermos to avoid this. At least you’ll be helping the environment.
A sour sweet tax
If you’ve got a sweet tooth in Illinois and your treat of choice is candy, be prepared to shell out a tax for the sugar. The state has a 6.25% candy tax but it only applies to treats made without flour. Oreos might be a better option in this state than M&Ms.
The blueberry blues
Maine is the top producer of blueberries in the U.S. and the state takes a cut from growers, vendors, purchasers and handlers of the fruit — 1.5 cents per pound, to be exact.
S’mores and rice crispy squares
Indiana levies a tax on marshmallows, but not on marshmallow cream — so you might opt for a Fluffernutter treat rather than a s’more or rice crispy square.
A lot of hot air
Many states have an amusement tax, but Kansas has a flighty one. A hot-air balloon ride in the state is considered to be a mode of transportation and thus, tax free. But if you’re in that balloon when it’s tethered to the ground it will cost you 6.5% because the state believes you’re there simply for amusement.