Previously, I’d thought that Steven Forbes was on to something. Wouldn’t a flat tax be
easier to administer, provide faster cash for our communities and really
hold our legislators accountable? I’m still leaning that way, but……there
is something to be said about bipartisan cooperation that can produce
meaningful legislative code like some of the items below.
Let’s head towards Memphis. In Tennessee, there is a tax on all litigation. It’s
prorated, but the intent is to prevent or discourage frivolous lawsuits.
OK, seems reasonable. But in 2005, Tennessee also began requiring drug
dealers to pay taxes anonymously on illegal substances they sold. I have
a question. How do you audit a felon whom you suspect is not being
honest about their dishonest sales? Hmmm….a little bit further west
now, to Arkansas.
In Arkansas, body piercings, pet grooming and gutter cleaning are subject to a 6%
sales tax. I understand that it’s a service industry tax, but when it
comes to gutters, the tax may actually prohibit the cleaning from taking
place. And what about the downspouts? Is that another drain on the
wallet? (see if you can locate the pun)
Before we cross the Rockies, South Carolina offers a $50 deduction if your deer carcass
helps the needy. How is that verified? Is there a proof-of-carcass form
that needs filled out? What documentation is required? Do people need
the dough that bad?
In New Mexico, people over 100 years old are tax-exempt, but only if they are not
dependents. In an apparent attempt to resemble the Japanese culture and
honor the elderly, New Mexico knows how to reward those that have lived
healthy. If I was in a position of authority there, my only concern
would be the influx of 99-year-olds looking to avoid taxes.
In Oregon, double amputees get a $50 tax credit. Part of me is interested
in how/why this started, and the other part is asking “Can we bump it up
Silly tax laws are not limited to just the United States.
In 1795, England put a tax on the aromatic powders that men and women put on
their wigs. This led to a dramatic decline in the popularity of wigs.
Thank goodness. There’s zero chance I’d pay for wearing someone else’s
In 1885 Canada created the Chinese Head Tax, which taxed the entry of Chinese
immigrants into Canada. The tax lasted until 1923 when a law was passed
banning Chinese people from entering Canada altogether with a few
exceptions. Exceptions? What could they be, unless it was just another
way of getting a head?
On second thought, let’s go back to that Steve Forbes idea.
* For more silly tax rules, visit these articles: efile
March 2, 2015