Fun Facts About Dumb, Annoying, Crazy or otherwise Controversial TAXES
To Shave or Not to Shave? Peter the Great taxed all (non-clergy) facial hair in 1705. As much as 90% of Peter the Great’s tax revenue used for military. (also taxed souls)
Facial Hair Tax
In most states including Massachusetts and Virginia, is considered a tax on the patrons of places such as ski resorts, craft shows, and golf courses, but in reality is collected from the operators of such places. The government taxes the owners of places that offer “amusement” and in return those businesses pass the aforementioned taxes on to us.
Fountain Soda Drink Tax
Illinois has on record a tax rate on fountain drinks of 9 percent, as opposed to the standard sales tax of 3 percent.
Little did you know some areas levy a 0.5 percent tax on all take-out food. Chicago and Washington, D.C. both have enacted a tax on fast food, purportedly to pay for the removal of litter often accrued with the purchase of burgers and dogs. This tax applies to everything take-out, from your morning egg McMuffin to your late night cheese steak.
In Maine, “anyone who grows, purchases, sells, handles, or processes the fruit in the state” makes those persons eligible for a ¾ cent per pound tax.
Playing Card Tax
Alabama has in place a 10 cent tax on the sale of all playing cards with 54 cards or less.
Sparkler and Novelties Tax
West Virginia imposes a special fee on all businesses selling sparklers and other novelties. On top of the state’s 6 percent sales tax you can expect to pay an additional fee courtesy the state.
Illegal Drug Tax
11 states in the U.S., including North Carolina and Nevada, tax citizens on possession of illegal drugs. After acquiring an illegal substance in North Carolina you are supposed to go to the Department of Revenue and pay a tax on it. In exchange, you will receive a stamp to affix to your drug which serves as evidence that a tax was paid.
In the State of Utah, taxpayers that own businesses where “nude or partially nude individuals perform any service” have to pay a 10% sales and use tax. It applies to all revenue from admission fees as well as the sales of merchandise, food, drink and services. These expenses are paid by the business owners who likely pass along the additional costs to their customers.
Special thanks to Huffington Post: A Dozen Dumb Taxes (from a compilation by Nick Sabloff)