We listed down 10 of the weirdest, and sometimes ridiculous, taxes in America.
Weird US Taxes You Never Knew Existed
1. Virginia’s Sheep / Lamb Tax
The state of Virginia imposes a $0.50 excise tax on every sheep or lamb sold within the state. Virginia already imposes taxes on eggs, peanuts, and soft drinks. These raise $1.8 million, $172,000, and $191,000 respectively, annually. A little-known fact is the sheep and lamb tax raises $8,000 for the state every year. In fact, handlers file these taxes quarterly. It’s one of those weird US taxes that actually makes sense, although it may seem odd at first glance.
2. New Hampshire’s Dirt Tax
As the saying goes, the only two constant things in life are death and taxes. It is not surprising to find yourself taxed for your final resting place in New Hampshire. Specifically, they may charge you for digging your own grave. The state of New Hampshire collects a $0.02 tax per cubic yard of dirt excavated if you move more than 1,000 cubic yards. This strange state tax might make you want to dig up just enough dirt for your grave.
3. Maine’s Blueberry Tax
When you think of Maine, you think blueberries. Maine provides the U.S. with the bulk of its blueberries. The blueberry industry is heavily taxed in Maine. The state taxes anyone growing, handling, processing, selling, or purchasing blueberries. The tax is to the tune of $1.50 per 100 pounds of blueberries sold. There’s even a very specific entry for it in its legislature. When you think about it, putting a tax on blueberries isn’t really the weirdest tax in the U.S. – but it’s still pretty weird.
4. Illinois’ Candy Tax
Sweet tooths may find Illinois a very expensive state, thanks to one of the most unusual tax deductions in the U.S. The State of Illinois taxes all candy items, but weirdly excludes candies that use flour as an ingredient. A funny example is Twix, a Mars Candy Company product. Since it lists flour as an ingredient, the state does not bother taxing it. However, other products such as Snickers bars get taxed because they do not have flour content. If you’re thinking of selling candy in Illinois, better make it with flour.
5. Connecticut’s Diaper Tax
Now, this is truly one of the more odd taxes in America. The state of Connecticut used to excise a tax on diapers and feminine hygiene products, making hundreds of thousands of dollars off them. However, as of July 1, 2018, Connecticut has made diapers and feminine hygiene products tax-free, much to the relief of its citizens. This fact does not exclude it from this list of weird US taxes, though.
6. Maryland’s Flush Tax
If we’re talking weird US taxes, you can’t leave out Maryland from the list. The state charges its residents $60 per year for flushing their toilets. While you may think this is one of those strange state taxes made for the government to rip people off, you’re in for a surprise. The proceeds actually go towards the improvement of sewer and water treatment facilities in the state. All these efforts benefit the rehabilitation and improvement of the health of the Chesapeake Bay, one of Maryland’s most important bodies of water.
7. Texas’ Belt Buckle Tax
Cowboys take pride in many things, including their apparel. An essential part of the cowboy getup is the belt buckle, which cowboys proudly show off. A lot of belt buckles have intricate designs that require a lot of hours to produce… which is probably why Texas excises a tax on these items. Yes, Texas taxes belt buckles, to the dismay of its cowboys. Thankfully, the belt itself, boots, and ten-gallon hats are exempt from this tax.
8. New York’s Bagel Tax
New Yorkers love their bagels. A lot of residents start off their day with a hot coffee and a toasted bagel or two and then head off into New York’s chaotic streets. They love their bagels so much that the State of New York started charging taxes for “altered bagels.” It costs $0.08 extra to have an “altered” bagel, which means slicing, toasting, or serving it with cream cheese and butter. So yes, enjoy that bagel, knowing that the government profited from you smearing all that butter on it.
9. Pennsylvania’s Air Tax
This has got to be a major contender for the title of weirdest tax in the U.S. You may think that the air you breathe is non-taxable, but you’ll end up scratching your head with what governments can come up with. Pennsylvania taxes air, as long as it comes out of compressed air vending machines, or a vacuuming vending machine. For example, you drive into a gas station and use their compressor to fill up your tires. That air is literally taxed by the state, even though they had no business in running the air compressor itself. Weird? Very. Justified? Not sure.
10. North Carolina’s Pet Tax
North Carolinians must really love their pets because they will brave anything – even taxes – just to get a hold of them. North Carolina requires its residents to declare their pets as personal property, therefore opening them up for tax charges. Spayed and neutered pets pay a $10 tax, while pets that aren’t fixed go for a hefty $75. Come to think of it, this strange state tax actually forces owners to be very responsible with their pets.
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These weird, but sometimes funny tax facts are some of the more weird taxes in the U.S. Some are justified, while others might not be. Regardless, these are unshakeable facts that will always be there. No one can escape taxes – but people can experience some relief from them.
What are some weird US taxes that we missed? Let us know in the comments section.