Unusual U.S. taxes that don’t necessarily make sense

P { margin-bottom: 0.08in; }A:link { }

Ever since taxes have
existed in America, the ability of municipalities, states and the
federal government to legislate revenue earning mechanisms has been a
reality. Such being the case, several unusual taxes have emerged out
of legislative entities.
While the following taxes arguably fall short of the absurdity levied
in a 14th century British existence tax, they are nevertheless quite
odd and possibly inefficient ways to levy the public.

Sliced bagel tax

For bagel lovers living
in New York, beware of the sliced bagel tax. This tax only applies to
sliced bagels according to the Wall
Street Journal. Moreover, while there is some logic to taxing
services, a loaf of bread that is sliced is not taxable.
This strange tax adds up to
somewhere between .05-.15 cents for not
using a knife to self-slice.

Haunted house tax

For tour companies
contemplating a haunted house business in New York, be prepared to
pay a tax that would not be charged for alternate tours both in New
York and other states. According to Forbes magazine, the haunted
house tax only applies to tours that cost more than .10 cents and
that also play music. Since Halloween only occurs once a year, a tour
tax that operates year round and even seasonally would be more likely
to raise a higher amount of revenue.

Playing card tax

According to the Alabama
Department of Revenue, there is a .10 cent tax on each pack of paying cards;
this is a seperate tax from sales tax. This history of playing
cards taxes dates back to a time when playing card stamp taxes were common. Playing
card pack levies have been repealed at the federal level, but are
still on the books in Alabama. However, if more than 54 cards are
included in the deck, no tax applies.

Illegal drug tax

In Tennessee illegal drug
dealers are required by law to pay tax on the proceeds of their drug
sales. This includes $3.50 per gram of Marijuana and $250 per gram of
crack per the Charles Koch Institute. Enforcing this tax might fall
along similar lines to collection of income tax from illegal workers.
In both cases criminals are trusting a federal government agency with documented information about their illegal activities.

Amusement ride tax

For individuals thinking
of going on a ride in Kansas, a hot air balloon might be a better deal. This is
because of a tethered balloons rides are taxed per ABC News.
Moreover, the distinguishing factor is transportation, which is not
taxed the same way. Since rides are limited to a geographic space,
they are subject to the amusement ride tax.

The reasons why many of
the above taxes are strange or odd is because they do not seem conventional or practical. Granted tax code gets complicated and
sometimes obscure laws fall by the wayside as legislators focus on
more pressing issues. Nevertheless, these taxes are silly because
they target specific industries in an impractical way, which can easily be
avoided or are difficult to enforce.