Des Moines County Republicans

Richard’s Ritings – one hundred twelve

I think I possess the skills to write any kind of a column, so, this one is of the lighter version, not blaming the D’s for all our political ills and rewriting a lot of it from the July 2013 edition of the American Legion magazine, which I think, all former service folks receive, if they are a member of the American Legion.

But, I have to admit, it is a little bit political, but very light.

The original article was titled “The Dumbest Taxes”, which looks strange and even funny to all who read, but after reading this, one has to wonder how in the heck regular folks, surrounded by tons of attorneys, can think up some of this stuff.  Enjoy!

In Maryland, the government is taxing “impervious surfaces” – roofs, driveways and basically any other man-made structure that doesn’t allow rainwater to naturally soak into the ground.

The rain tax isn’t the only revenue source for the Chesapeake Bay cleanup. In what U.S. News and World Report calls the “flush tax”, Maryland has levied a $2.50 monthly charge on “residents who generate wastewater.”

Speaking of waste, in Connecticut, children’s diapers are subject to tax, but adult diapers are untaxed.

Alabama classifies and taxes various kinds of playing cards. A “normal” deck is levied a 10-cent tax (paid by the buyer) and a $1 fee (paid by the seller). But as U.S. News and World Report points out, this only applies to decks of 54 cards or less. So, a game like UNO is not subject to the card tax.

Chicago taxes various kinds of soda. A fountain soda is taxed three times higher than canned soda.

Various states are mulling a one cent per ounce tax on sugary drinks. And federal lawmakers considered a three cent tax on soda to help fund the new health-care law.

Maine levies a 75 cents per pound tax on purchases of wild blueberries, while in California fresh fruit is not taxed unless it is purchased from a vending machine, in which case it carries a healthy 33 percent tax.

This one will drive your tax man crazy.

According to Bon Appetit, 39 of 50 states have some kind of sales tax on candy, although what “candy” means, exactly, is all over the map. In some states, candy with flour is considered a food item while candy without flour is considered, well, candy. Thus, in Iowa, Milky Ways and Kit Kats don’t get taxed, while the Milky Way Midnight, which just happens to ditch flour from the normal Milky Way recipe, is back under the taxman’s jurisdiction.

Heated food is often taxed while their unheated counterparts are not. Sliced bagels, as well as bagels with spread toppings, are subject to an eight cent tax in New York, while unsliced bagels avoid the taxman’s greedy hand.

Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Iowa all tax pumpkins differently depending on whether they’re sold as potential jack-o-lanterns or as future pie fillings. If it’s for a jack-o-lantern, they are taxed.

In Colorado, cups are deemed essential and therefore nontaxable. But the lids and cup sleeves for those same cups are subject to tax.

And finally it seems the IRS doesn’t really care if you break the law, as long as you pay your taxes. If you steal property, the IRS Tax Guide advises, “you must report its fair market value in your income in the year you steal it, unless in the same year you return it to its rightful owner”.

In a similar vein, the IRS requires a taxpayer to report income “from illegal activities, such as money from dealing illegal drugs” – on Form 1040, line 21, or on Schedule C or Schedule C-EZ (Form 1040) if from your “self-employment activity.” Apparently the taxman is unable to see the futility of expecting someone who is breaking drug laws to observe the tax law by disclosing that he is breaking drug laws.

And those folks who live in Tennessee, with lots of common sense, from 2005 to 2009, found a way around this conundrum. Drug dealers were allowed to pay taxes on their narcotics earnings anonymously at state revenue offices.

Now, in order for you to understand the “push” to raise the minimum wage from seven to ten bucks an hour, perhaps this will help you.

First of all, there is more money going into Social Security if you receive ten bucks as opposed to seven.

And here is the other shoe –

In 1960 the taxes you paid, as a PERCENTAGE of your income figured out to be 27.7 percent.

In 1980 it rose to 30.4 percent. In 2000 33.6 percent. In 2004 29.3 percent and in 2013 29.4 percent.

And the reason your tax bill remains the same, percentage wise, is because the government is living on inflation.

And we will all be seeing a big dose of that real soon.

Write me if you wish at

(This article is the product of the author and is not associated with or submitted by the Des Moines County Republican Central Committee nor any other organization)