A look at the 6 Oddest Taxes in the United States

Throughout man’s time on Earth, there have been numerous quotes that reflect the state of death and taxes. Wise men have always said these are to be the only permanent aspects of life, which is rather morose.

One quote that comes to mind is Benjamin Franklin’s, who said, “In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” Another important quote is by Albert Einstein, who also pontificated, “The hardest thing in the world to understand is the income tax.”

To generate revenue, governments, whether it is in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, China or Australia, impose taxes that are perplexing, questionable and/or weird. Many news outlets over the past number of decades have always listed the weirdest taxes in the United States. This article is no different.

Here are the top six wackiest American taxes that are still in the books today (in no particular order):

Maryland – Flush tax

How often do you flush your toilet? If it’s yellow do you let it mellow? Or if it’s brown do you flush it down? Maryland homeowners and businesses are taxed $2.50 per month for producing wastewater. These individuals are charged the monthly fee to their sewer bills of residents using a treatment system and an annual fee of $30 to homeowners with their own septic systems.

Chicago – Fountain soda tax

Soda is a great companion to the nation’s fast food delights. Sometimes customers use the fountain for soda or they purchase a bottle. Next time a consumer has to make an important decision because of two taxes. If a Chicagoan buys a fountain soda drink then a sales tax of nine percent will be charged. If a Chicagoan buys the exact same drink in a bottle or a can, a sales tax of only three percent will be added.

Alabama – Playing cards tax

For avid card players, a sales tax of 10 cents is added to the purchase of a pack of cards. Unfortunately for the seller of the deck, he or she must pay $1 and an additional $3 for a license.

New York – Bagel tax (unchanged)

New York is famous for its endless selection of bagels. Who doesn’t love a bagel with cream cheese and smoked salmon? Wait, there’s an eight-cent charge to bagels that are altered, such as sliced or schmeared, but not to whole bagels.

California – Vending machine fruit tax

With the budget out of control and the state of California on the verge of insolvency and bankruptcy, one would think that it would impose numerous taxes. Well, that person is correct.  Although fresh fruit is exempted from any taxes, a 33 percent tax is charged to fresh fruit that is purchased from a vending machine.

Tennessee – Illegal drug tax

In 2005, the state of Tennessee passed a bill that would be dubbed as the “Crack Tax.” The tax is applied to illicit drugs, such as cocaine, heroin and marijuana. The tax is levied per gram for each drug: $200 for crack cocaine and meth, $3.50 for marijuana and $50 for cocaine. The dealers are permitted to pay the tax anonymously at the state revenue office.