America's Weirdest State Taxes

Maine blueberries, New York bagels make ABC's odd-tax list
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 9, 2012 5:05 PM CDT
Updated Apr 14, 2012 7:00 PM CDT
America's Weirdest State Taxes
New York state taxes bagels, but only if they're "altered."   (Shutterstock)

Federal taxes may provoke the loudest partisan bickering, but some states impose taxes that could leave you at a loss for words. Fur? Nudity? Bagels? You bet—not to mention blueberries and playing cards. ABC News rounds up a few of the weirdest:

  • Blueberries: Maine, which produces 99% of all US blueberries, taxes them in lots of ways: buying, selling, processing, handling, growing... everything but eating them.

  • Fur: Minnesota hits fur purchases with a 6.5% tax. Not all fur is equal, however: Your Davy Crockett cap must have three times more fur than any other material in order to be taxed.
  • Nudity: You may think the biggest nudity tax is in Nevada. But try Utah, where "nude or partially nude" workers are taxed 10% on their services. (Lawmakers know that's a cash transaction, right?)
  • Bagels: New York applies an 8% tax to bagels, but only if they're "altered" (as in sliced or cream-cheesed). Uncut bagels, no tax at all.
  • Balloon rides: Kansas differentiates the untethered from the tethered. The former constitute a form of transportation, and go untaxed. The latter are taxed as amusements.
For more odd taxes—including playing cards and a 19th-century alcohol levy—click here. (More taxes stories.)

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