Tax laws in the United States can certainly be confusing, but sometimes, they just don’t make any sense. Check out these 19 weird tax laws – you might even get a chuckle from a few of them.
Alabama – Playing Card Tax
If you want to buy a deck of playing cards in Alabama, you’ll be charged an additional 10 cents. If you sell playing cards, you’ll pay an additional $1 and have to pay an annual license tax of $3. Alabama considers a deck of playing cards to be 54 cards or fewer, so if you seek out decks with extra jokers, you can avoid the tax.
Arizona – Ice Tax
Arizona taxes some types of ice but not others. They don’t consider a block of ice food, so you’ll be taxed on that. They do, however, consider cubed ice food, so you won’t have to pay a tax on that.
Arkansas – Tattoo & Earring Tax
If you want to alter your body in Arkansas (by getting a tattoo or earring), you’ll have to pay an additional sales tax.
California – Fresh Fruit Tax
California wants you to be healthy and buy fresh fruit. Fresh fruit and other food items are usually exempt from sales tax, unless you buy it from a vending machine. If you buy fresh fruit from your office vending machine, be prepared to pay a little extra.
Colorado – Straw & Napkin Tax
If you want a straw, lid, or napkin to go with your burger and fries in Colorado, you’re going to have to ask for it, and you’ll be taxed on those items.
Illinois – Candy Tax
In Illinois, you’ll be taxed on candy, but only if it meets the state’s definition of candy. According to Illinois, if something is made with flour, it’s not candy. So, you’ll be taxed on a 3 Musketeers bar, but not on a Kit Kat.
Kansas – Hot Air Balloon Tax
Are you planning on proposing in a hot air balloon in Kansas? You might be taxed a little extra on the ride, if the hot air balloon is still tethered to the ground. If you take the trip without being tethered, Kansas considers it air transportation and won’t tax you.
Maine – Wild Blueberry Tax
If you sell wild blueberries in Maine, you’ll be taxed 1.5 cents per pound of wild blueberries sold.
Massachusetts – Out-of-State Liquor Tax
Are you planning on bringing a bottle of wine to your friends in Massachusetts? Be careful! If you didn’t buy the alcohol in Massachusetts, you’ll have to pay a fee and get a special permit to bring the bottle into the state.
Minnesota – Fur Tax
Have you been eyeing a fur coat in Minnesota? You might want to opt for a faux fur coat instead. Minnesota will charge you a 6.875% tax if you purchase a piece of clothing with real fur.
Missouri – Bachelor Tax
If you’re a single man between the ages of 21 and 50 in Missouri, you might be on the hook for an annual tax of $1. Missouri started this tax in 1820 to encourage young men to get married. It’s still technically on the books, but (thankfully) hasn’t been enforced in years.
New Jersey – Pumpkin Tax
If you’re buying a pumpkin in New Jersey, you might be taxed – it depends on what you’re using it for. If you’re planning on making a pumpkin pie, then the pumpkin is considered food, so you won’t be taxed on it. Are you putting the pumpkin on your front steps as decorations? Then, you will have to pay sales tax.
New Mexico – Old Age Tax Exemption
New Mexico wants to reward you for living a long and healthy life. Once you turn 100, you’ll be exempt from paying state income tax.
New York City – Sliced Bagel Tax
Did you go to New York City looking for an authentic New York bagel? If the bagel is ready for consumption (if it’s toasted or already sliced), then you’ll have to pay sales tax on it. If you buy a whole bagel, take it back to your hotel, and slice it yourself, you can avoid the sales tax.
North Carolina – Airport Car Rental Tax
Are you planning on flying into the Raleigh-Durham International Airport anytime soon? You might want to take a taxi to a car rental location. If you rent a car from the airport, you’ll be subject to a 25.61% tax. If you rent a car from anywhere else in Durham County, you’ll only have to pay 5%. That cab ride will pay for itself.
South Carolina – Donated Meat Tax Deduction
If you’re a licensed meat processor in South Carolina, you could get an additional tax deduction. You’ll get a $50 tax deduction for every deer carcass you process and donate to charity.
Texas – Holiday Tax
You can avoid paying sales tax on holiday greenery in Texas by buying it from a charitable organization. If you hire a decorating service that provides the decorations, however, you’ll have to pay taxes on the services performed and the decorations.
Washington – Bottled Water Tax
Most states would prefer if you used tap water instead of bottled water to cut down on trash and pollution, but Washington is doing something about it. If you buy a bottle of water in Washington, you’ll have to pay sales tax on it, unless you can get a prescription for the water from your doctor.
West Virginia – Safety Tax
You can buy fireworks for the Fourth of July in West Virginia, but you’ll have to pay sales tax and an additional 12% for a safety fee. That fee helps pay for the fire departments, police departments, and ambulances.