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Top 10 Truly Bizarre Taxes

Jamie Frater . . . Comments

Tax is the bane of all of our lives. Indeed, as the old saying goes, “nothing is certain but death and taxes”. Governments (and not just democratic ones) seem to find the most inane things to tax; they especially like popular activities and goods, as is evidenced by the recent attempts of various governments to tax the Internet. If there is a way for them to make sure you are using it, they will tax it. In the United Kingdom televisions are taxed via the television license – though, fortunately, if you are legally blind you only have to pay half of it.

This list looks at ten of the most ridiculous taxes to have been levied in both the past, present and future. If you know of others that you think fit the bill for this list, be sure to share them with us all in the comments.

10

Card Tax

Playing Card

The card tax is a great example of people being taxed for something which is popular and pleasurable. At the time of the instutution of the tax, playing cards was extremely popular after dinner (no doubt due to the lack of televisions and playstations) so the King saw an opportunity to fleece his people. The tax, along with the fancy design and manufacturer’s logo commonly displayed on the Ace of Spades began under the reign of James I of England (16th-17th century), who passed a law requiring an insignia on that card as proof of payment of a tax on local manufacture of cards. Until August 4, 1960, decks of playing cards printed and sold in the United Kingdom were liable for taxable duty, and the Ace of Spades carried an indication of the name of the printer and the fact that taxation had been paid on the cards.

9

Candy Tax

Candy Tax T640

In September 2009, the state of Illinois decided to tax candy at a higher rate than other food. The Illinois Department of Revenue carefully explains that “if an item contains flour or requires refrigeration,” it is not considered candy and is taxed at the same lower rate as other food. This explanation legally classifies yogurt covered raisins as candy, but yogurt covered pretzels as food; Baby Ruth bars as candy, but Twix bars as food; Milky Way Midnight bars as candy, but original Milky Way bars as food. [Source]


8

Jock Tax

041206 Haselbeck Hmed 9P.Grid-6X2

In the United States, the jock tax is the colloquially named income tax levied against visitors to a city or state, who earn money in that jurisdiction. Since a state cannot afford to track the many individuals who do business on an itinerant basis, the ones targeted are usually very wealthy and high profile, namely professional athletes. Not only are the working schedules of famous sports players public, so are their salaries. The state can compute and collect the amount with very little investment of time and effort. And as we all well know, the government doesn’t like to put an effort into anything.

7

Cowardice Tax

Knights Templar Battle

The cowardice tax (properly known as scutage) was a special tax levied against people who chose not to fight for the King (not just for reasons of cowardice). The institution existed under Henry I (reigned 1100–1135) and was initially relatively cheap, but then King John raised it by 300% and started charging it to all knights in years in which there were no wars. This is partly what led to the Magna Carta. The tax lasted for around 300 years and was eventually replaced by other methods of fund-raising from the military.


6

Hat Tax

19Th-Century-Suits

The hat tax was a tax levied by the British Government from 1784 to 1811 on men’s hats. The tax was introduced during the first ministry of Pitt the Younger, and was designed to be a simple way of raising revenue for the government in a rough accordance with each person’s relative wealth. It was supposed that the rich would have a large number of expensive hats, whereas the poor might have one cheap hat, or none at all. The hat tax required hat retailers to buy a license, and to display the sign Dealer in Hats by Retail. The cost of the retail license was two pounds for London and five shillings elsewhere. Heavy fines were given to anyone, milliner or hat wearer, who failed to pay the hat tax. However, the death penalty was reserved for forgers of hat-tax revenue stamps.

5

Window Tax

Window Tax

The window tax was a significant social, cultural and architectural force in the kingdoms of England, Scotland and, then, Great Britain during the 17th and 18th centuries. Some houses from the period can be seen to have bricked-up window-spaces (ready to be glazed at a later date), as a result of the tax. The tax was introduced under the Act of Making Good the Deficiency of the Clipped Money, in 1696, under King William III, and was designed to impose tax relative to the prosperity of the taxpayer, but without the controversy that then surrounded the idea of income tax. When the window tax was introduced, it consisted of two parts: a flat-rate house tax of 2 shillings per house and a variable tax for the number of windows above ten windows. The richest families in the kingdoms used this tax to set themselves apart from the merely rich. They would commission a country home or a manor house whose architecture would make the maximum possible use of windows. In extreme cases they would have windows built over structural walls. It was an exercise in ostentation, spurred by the window tax. Amazingly, the tax was not repealed until 1851.


4

Beard Tax

S320X240

In 1535, King Henry VIII of England, who wore a beard himself, introduced a tax on beards. The tax was a graduated tax, varying with the wearer’s social position. His daughter, Elizabeth I of England, reintroduced the beard tax, taxing every beard of more than two-weeks growth. The tax also appeared in Russia but for a different reason: to make the people shave as the Tsar considered beards to be uncultured. In 1705, Tsar Peter I of Russia instituted a beard tax. Those who paid the tax were required to carry a “beard token”. This was a copper or silver token with a Russian Eagle on one side and on the other, the lower part of a face with nose, mouth, whiskers, and beard. It was inscribed with two phrases: “the beard tax has been taken” and “the beard is a superfluous burden”.

3

Crack Tax

Crack Tax Stamp(1)

The “crack tax” is a name given to the taxes on illegal drugs in Tennessee. The tax, under a law passed by the Tennessee General Assembly, in January, 2005, is applied to illegal substances, including cocaine, marijuana and moonshine. Drug dealers are required to pay anonymously at the state revenue office, where they receive a stamp to prove their payment. If a drug dealer is arrested without having a stamp, the state would seek the money owed it. 22 other states have drug collection laws similar to the crack tax in Tennessee; the law was based upon that of North Carolina’s. Another often taxed illegal activity is prostitution.


2

Fart Tax

Fart-Tax-1

The Agricultural emissions research levy (commonly described as a “flatulence tax” or “fart tax”) was a tax proposed in New Zealand, in 2003, to assist with compliance with the Kyoto Protocol. The tax would target the release of methane by farm animals, which, in New Zealand, account for over 50% of the greenhouse gas emissions. Needless to say there was an outcry due to the importance of farming in New Zealand and the Labour government eventually gave up their ridiculous idea to tax cow’s farts.

1

Urine Tax

Pecunia Non Olet Boite

Pecunia non olet (money does not stink). This phrase was coined as a result of the urine tax, levied by the Roman emperors Nero and Vespasian in the 1st century, upon the collection of urine. The lower classes of Roman society urinated into pots which were emptied into cesspools. The liquid was then collected from public latrines, where it served as the valuable raw material for a number of chemical processes: it was used in tanning, and also by launderers as a source of ammonia to clean and whiten woolen togas. There are even isolated reports of it being used as a teeth whitener (supposedly originating in what is now Spain). When Vespasian’s son, Titus, complained about the disgusting nature of the tax, his father showed him a gold coin and uttered the famous quote. This phrase is still used today to show that the value of money is not tainted by its origins. Vespasian’s name still attaches to public urinals in France (vespasiennes), Italy (vespasiani), and Romania (vespasiene). [Source]

Text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. Text is derived from Wikipedia.

Jamie Frater

Jamie is the owner and chief-editor of Listverse. He spends his time working on the site, doing research for new lists, and collecting oddities. He is fascinated with all things historic, creepy, and bizarre.

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  • Schiesl

    Love it love it love it

  • lalabhaiya

    amazing amazing list. i didnt know there were taxes on things such as wearing a hat, cow farts and illegal substances. all the government needs is our money and they'll do anything to get it. by the way, cow farts really is one of the major cause of greenhouse effect. imagine, if only we could tap the methane produced by them… :)

    • Dave

      I have a perfect solution for this "problem"…. steaks.

  • Kimani

    Great List.
    Taxes should be used to eradicate more ills in society, like:
    Twilight Tax (a heavy tax on any reference to Twilight)
    Lady Gaga Tax (a tax on Lady Gaga for existing)
    Goatee Tax (self explanatory)
    Micheal Bay Tax (a tax on Michael Bay to make sure he never makes another movie)

    • lalabhaiya

      agree on the 1st 4, but Bay should make more movies. that way we'll respect good movies more, if you know what i mean.

      • Kimani

        I know what you mean but I don't agree.
        Micheal Bay's movies are getting worse and worse with more and more people going to watch them. This is creating a paradox. If this trend continues, a big opening for Transformers 3 might crate a giant paradox which will destabilize the space time continuum, rip a hole in space and destroy the universe.

        • lalabhaiya

          i guess thats what the movie 2012 was about. its just that they didnt mention bay in it. and the really bad acting too.

        • Armadillotron

          Transformers 3? Please God, no..

          • oliveralbq

            dude — i've ripped on ya a couple times, so in all fairness, giving credit where credit is due, i am totally completely with you—- in theory, of course —

            in reality, however,
            in case you don't know, trans3, is in pre-production (release date, may/june 2011) with — john tuturro, hugo weaving, francess mcdormand (like the first 3), john malkovitch, sheia lebouf, johs duhammel (dont much like those last 3) — plus rosie huntington-whiteley, in her first movie, after some great victoria secret fashon show apperarances. which — i watched for the articles…..i mean….commercials….or….. no my girlfriend was watc.h.h…in..g….
            ahh
            nevermind.

    • bluesman87

      oh man , genius! I'd also like to add the "jock-hawk" tax .

      • oliveralbq

        blue—remember that web site you sent me last year, "the best page in the universe", that maddox runs. he had this quote in his faq to the question, why do you have against jocks?:; "Nothing. In fact, I love jocks. They always make sure I get my fries piping hot and my pizza delivered in 30 minutes or less. "

        dont hate on jock-hawks too much — unless you like cold fries

    • deanosantino

      Dont tax micheal bay, just tax him on each time something explodes or gets shot, easy money!

    • samanthaf63

      I agree wholeheartedly. Let's start a petition NOW.

    • WillMcIntyre39

      And they should have a death penalty for mentioning Justin Bieber…

      • silvernano

        You mentioned HER. Die!

      • Choosilicious

        Ohhhh now you're taxed!

  • Gav

    I'm just glad they upped the mullet-tax in my state

  • bluesman87

    That is some crazy shit . I was gonna mention the often repeated notion that weed is not legal because government would have a lot of difficulty taxing it because people can grow their own . Now i see the states tax crack and effectively crack whores there goes that logic ( and glimmer of hope). This whole list is one big fuck in the eye, man i never realized that governments were such greedy rats!!! they tax our salaries and everything we buy with our salaries (after we've paid tax on them ) is also taxed . Bullshit! man then they go even further and take the sweet addictive escapes in life like cigarettes and beer and tax the shit out of them too! what assholes. man what selfish vindictive assholes .

    • Arsnl

      Cigarettes are taxed cuz you will eventually get lung cancer and you will need treatment. This way you pay the system that will take care of you later ;)

      • Dave

        By that logic, oxygen should be taxed as a major contributor to people living to be old and getting "old people diseases" (eg Alzheimer's, diverticulitis).

        • Arsnl

          Why dont you start a diet of chain smoking and me just oxygen and lets see who dies first.
          Some people just dont make no sense

      • kmarx

        Really, you are going to interrupt a mature discussion about taxing Michael Bay with something this stoopid? You should really consider thinking before you speak. This utopian vision where tobacco tax pays for health care is fun to think about but complete fiction. The Michael Bay tax is much more realistic. I award you no points, and may god have mercy on your soul.

        • bluesman87

          uhhhhhhh ya blow it out your ass you dude . In my country you pay for your own medical insurance and expenses the government contributes nothing . If you have no money and you do go to a government hospital you die . There is no system to take care of me later unless i get personal medical insurance which i already have . co-incidentally the government medical workers are on strike this week and since mon like 6 people have died 4 of them babies because of neglect . You guys are lucky.

  • cqsteve

    Educational, but at the end of the day I still end up muttering "Stupid frickin` greedy government".

  • bluesman87

    In the immortal words of Butt-head the wise " Beavis you are a stupid dumbass."

  • brock

    no need to comment the list speaks for itself

    • vonhohenzollern

      brock, I have begun to realize that you are not at all as bad as some people make you out to be. You don't curse profusely in capital letters and you don't post good comebacks. To me, that's gold. I believe that everyone has a better appreciation of you after the idiocy of doug13 that occured yesterday. Good job brock, you're not the listverse dick of the week anymore.

      • bucketheadrocks

        I hereby nominate doug13 as Listverse Dick of the Week

        • oliveralbq

          i'd love to check out the trophy for this honour.

        • doug13

          2nd it

          • doug13

            And I gladly accept

      • doug13

        Soccer still sucks

    • pingyfan2000

      We should make a Brock tax..

  • Zubair Kaka

    We should institute "First Tax." For all those idiots who always post FIRST in the comments to a listverse post!

    • Rowena

      It has the added bonus of having a cool name!

  • joshi (not Brock)

    Oh man, if there was a tax on masturbation, I would be in real trouble! In fact, I am going to go and "incur some tax" right now!

    • vonhohenzollern

      It's so nice to know that you love this site so much that you are willing to share explicit details about your personal life with it's community.

    • bucketheadrocks

      Brock could never be as funny as you are.

      • bluesman87

        agree .

  • fallen angel

    A cow fart tax… really?! Wow! Cool list

  • Hans

    I guess it is true…

    Nothing is certain but death and taxes, and like death they will try to get you any way they can.

  • KewlNerd

    I’m pretty sure this was in my History books, but back in the Mexican Revolution, the “dictator” Porfirio Diaz also taxed people if they wanted to have windows in their homes. The tax was over after thirty something years of presidency.

  • ArjayM

    Hello Jamie, there might be a typo error in list #10 2nd sentence. "instutution" instead institution. By the way, nice list about taxes. *whew, we should pay taxes. But I laugh on #1… very nice…

  • KewlNerd

    Oh, and I’m pretty sure that there’s a tax too on saggy/baggy pants. Either it’s a tax or it’s just illegal. Not sure.

  • KewlNerd

    Oh, and I’m pretty sure that there’s a tax too on saggy/baggy pants. Either it’s a tax or it’s just illegal. Not sure.

    Sorry, I forgot to mention that it’s in Tennessee. :P

  • Steven Douglas

    You neglected the Queen Mother of all Bizarre, Inane Taxes – the Carbon Tax. A molecule! And not just any molecule – they picked one that makes up 18% of our body mass, and is essential to life on Earth! I always joked that if politicians could figure out a way to tax sunlight, they would do it in a heartbeat. When Cap and Tax was (is now) proposed (and by morons with straight faces, no less), it left me nothing short of astonished, because it is, indeed, an indirect way to tax sunlight. Retroactively! As in, all the sunlight converted into carbon and sequestered into the Earth over the past hundreds of millions of years.

    Can we begin with the hard open-handed slapping of some ridiculously silly faces any time soon?

    • cqsteve

      Start the revolution brother!

    • Arsnl

      Carbon is an element not a molecule. And sunlight doesnt convert into carbon, unless fire converts into steaks but alas energy cannot be converted into elements.
      And they dont tax carbon, they tax greenhouse gases like co2 or ch4 etc and rightly so. Why should i suffer cuz you want to drive a v8 or that the industry uses coal. Start paying buddy boy. Start paying NOW.

      • Steven Douglas

        @Arsnl – Carbon DIOXIDE is a molecule, not an element, but if even if you would like to split hairs, Google "carbon molecule", and you will see that carbon is both an element and a molecule.

        And you are technically correct that "sunlight doesn't convert into carbon", but it's only relevant if you're being thick, pretending not to see the what was obviously intended (i.e., the indirect connection between sunlight and fossil fuels, the absence of the former of which would have made the latter impossible).

        As for the "why should i suffer cuz (sic)…", the answer is simply because you were obviously born to suffer, given your credulous nature, and apparently easily frightened sensibilities, and your inability to reason or put anything into perspective (e.g., a carbon tax will NOT, and this is 100% guaranteed cause you or your progeny NOT to suffer — on any level).

        • TEX

          Most eloquent – and oh so accurate.

          Arsnl – not wanting to argue – "alas energy cannot be converted into elements"
          E=mc2 defines mass–energy equivalence – it states energy can be converted into mass and vice versa. The point? This is likely the future of clean low cost energy, it is not pseudoscience – like anthropogenic global warming most certainly is.

          • Rowena

            I agree that converting mass into energy is likely to be a good way of getting clean (though not necessarily low cost) energy, but it's a long way in the future right now, and we should probably do something now not just let ourselves kill our atmosphere, ourselves, our descendents because we can't do everything now.
            We've already seen that we can quite happily kill the ozone layer (personally, as someone living in NZ where we get the effects of that most strongly, in such things as increased cancer rates, I'd really rather we hadn't) and who is to say that we haven't been doing the same to the environment in general?
            We can measure the fact that we are putting out billions of tons of CO2, CH4, SF6 (the really evil one) and the like into the atmosphere every year. We can also measure the fact that these things already in the atmosphere absorb heat and reflect it back to Earth. Logically, if we're putting stuff into the atmosphere and it being in the atmosphere makes the earth hotter, we must be making the Earth hotter. We can also measure the fact that the earth is getting hotter. And colder, as well (that's the paradox: global warming actually makes the earth both hotter and colder – just more extreme).
            We kinda do need to DO something about that sometime soon. With things like the Pakistan floods and the break up of Antarctic ice shelves releasing more ice into the sea and raising sea levels, it's actually happening now. And if people won't voluntarily do it and a tax is the only way to make the pollution molecules decrease, then a tax is the way we have to go.
            That's not even considering what these things in the air do to your lungs… and it can't be good either.

          • TEX

            But Rowena – there is absolutly no proof of anthropogenic warning. To put it bluntly – what you have accepted as truth – I deny it exists with 100 percent certainty.

    • TEX

      RIGHT ON!!!
      stop the insanity by getting rid of the insane.
      Al Gore WILL suck cocks in hell.

      • Arsnl

        Well i usually try to be as correct as possible (and as we all know the devil is in the details) but there are some reasons why we cant convert energy into elements. We CAN convert them into particles (a quantum vacuum has this strange capabilty of creating virtual particles and anti particles that appear and dissapear all of a sudden. And its real. You can detect it using the casimir effect. You put 2 metal plates very close appart in vacuum and they will attract or repeal). Im not trying to be a know it all but a particle is a particle. An element is much more complex. You woulndt need to create loads of particles and assemble them in such a way that they would fit. I find that technically impossible- to stop a ray and create carbon.
        I agree with you about fusion. It is the future. Hope it works

    • Arsnl

      I know CO2 is a molecule but you said carbon and you said “And not just any molecule – they picked one that makes up 18% of our body mass, and is essential to life on Earth!”. Its obvious here that you talked about carbon, not CO2 (unless you want to talk about dead organism cuz having 18%of CO2 on your body means that you’d be long dead and burried). And CO2 is not THAT essential to life. Sure its one of the essential parts of photosynthesis but for us its just the exhaust from our motor. So no. A simple element isnt a molecule. (unless you’re talking about C60. I hope you were not cuz it would make less sense)
      “but it’s only relevant if you’re being thick” again i was explaining things scientifically. You could argue then that all the taxes are taxes on sunlight cuz sunlight makes everything exist.
      “a carbon tax will NOT, and this is 100% guaranteed cause you or your progeny NOT to suffer”
      Im not a native english speaker so your double negation left me flabbergasted. But you dont understand that the carbon tax isnt a tax, avoiding it is subsidizing. You are paying the full price of your production. You cant expell things in the athmosphere with no limits. You have to pay for it cuz you made it.
      Put it this way. If i take a p** in front of your door id get a kick in the head and a fine. Thats a tax for something that evaporates eventually. Is that correct?

      • Steven Douglas

        Arsnl, to the chase, ignoring all irrelevant hair and molecule splitting:

        A tax is as a tax does. Cap and Trade is another way of saying TAX. No euphemism or rephrasing will make its effect otherwise. It is a usage tax on something that is ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY (like sunlight) to human survival on this planet, and hits the poorest the very hardest — not that the seemingly well-intended but ultimately horridly selfish elitists of the world would care a whit.

        The [highly subjective] emotional characterization of the burning of fuel as somehow equivalent to taking a pee on someone else's doorstep, for which a kick and a fine is somehow well deserved, is meaningless. You could take any human activity that is necessary for survival, and spin it in much the same ridiculous way.

        And no, there are finite limits to the amount of carbon based fuels, and therefore CO2, that even we, in our infinite-seeming (to you) consumptive ways can continue to emit. Eventually, in the not too distant future, we will be forced to adapt to other energy sources….NATURALLY, ADAPTIVELY – not through the ineffective and wholly corrupt political (read=artificial) machinations of those who see only new revenue sources (read=involuntary servitude), or worse yet, an ideological means to redistribution oriented end (read=slavery).

        • Arsnl

          Well im not familiar with the carbon cap and trade but i know europe is making efforts in trying to reduce the co2 emissions. we can argue all day long over here whats natural and adaptive. I just know that there are 2 ways of making someone do something: with bonuses or by force. And I prefer adapting now when petrol is not so expensive, id rather build now solar panels and wind turbines and tidal power plants. For me adaptation starts now cuz i dont want it to be too expensive later. Plus we see the effect already of our disastrous campaigns (i wanted to say that cuz it sounds prophetical and alarmistic)
          I cant help the fact that europe already has strong green parties that get votes. It shows our desire to change.

          • Steven Douglas

            Arsnl, do you realize that you wrote, with a straight face no less,

            "I just know that there are 2 ways of making someone do something…"

            …as if it was just dandy-fine — normal even — to go around thinking about ways to "make people do something".

            It is that kind of thinking I personally think of as demented, and not just arrogant. No offense intended to you personally, but I think that way of thinking is the absolute antithesis of good governance, and a natural recipe for revolution — even anarchy, as the very manipulated carrot-or-stick control you seek over others has ALWAYS backfired historically. And it is a no-brainer to me as to why.

            If that kind of thinking is prevalent now (once again, after all these years) in Europe, then I truly fear for Europe (once again).

  • amrit

    Weird Baby Names:
    Until very recently, the Swedish Tax Authority had the power to decide whether the names parents chose for their children were acceptable – and forbid them from using names deemed to be “weird.”
    “First names shall not be approved if they can cause offense or can be supposed to cause discomfort for the one using it, or names which for some obvious reason are not suitable as a first name.”
    This law has produced several humorous protests over the years, including a parent who named their baby boy “Brfxxccxxmnpcccclllmmnprxvclmnckssqlbb11116″ in 1991 in direct opposition to Swedish policies in 1991. The Swedish government has evidently loosened up as of late however, with ParentDish.com reporting that parents are pushing the envelope with names like Elvis, Google and Lego. Swedish tax official Lars Tegenfeldt was quoted as saying that “changing times” have induced the Swedish Tax Authority to be less stringent in enforcing the odd name ban. While it isn’t a tax in the purest sense of the word, Sweden is likely the only nation in the world whose tax officials have the final say over what people’s names are. Strange indeed! (Source: Bill shrink)

    • TEX

      I read of the Moore family – had a baby boy – named it DaLon
      no joke

  • rain

    damn everything has a tax.

  • trinityenigma

    There also used to be a brick tax in UK. If you look at older houses they have small, dainty bricks that are more aesthetically pleasing, but then they started taxing bricks per number so builders cunningly made them bigger so there was obviously less used therefore less tax. Then the government introduced different taxes for different sized bricks.

    Also I remember learning that even after they removed the window tax they still put in bricked up windows. I can't remember why though- I think it might have been to make things look more symetrical when they couldn't actually build a window because of chimney breasts and things.

    I also think it's worth mentioning that the window tax was conveniently abolished just before they started to build crystal palace which (for those who don't know) is entirely made of glass panels- i.e the worlds largest greenhouse.

    • McBernard

      Have you read Bill Bryson's 'At Home' by any chance?

      • trinityenigma

        No I haven't heard of that one- will definitely look into it though. I love his writing and have read Notes from a Big Country, Notes from a Small Island, Down Under and The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid.

        I take it he talks about some of that stuff in his book then? I'll read it and find out, but thanks for bringing the book to my attention.

  • astraya

    "Sex at noon taxes" is an anagram.

    • Arsnl

      You mean a palindrome.

      • astraya

        Yes. In the middle of doing something else just now I suddenly realised that, and returned here to correct myself. Thank you for being nice about it.

        Possibly it is, technically, an anagram (of itself) – you can rearrange the letters.

        • TEX

          madam I'm Adam

          • Maggot

            wow

          • oliveralbq

            saippuakivikauppias

          • Maggot

            huh

          • ShoresLady

            It's that darn Finnish soap saleman making the rounds of Palindromeville!

          • oliveralbq

            all the who's in whoville need soapstone.

  • Baabaaer

    Aha! Let's impose a tax on First comments!

  • doug13

    Great List , really enjoyed this.

  • Armadillotron

    Wat Tyler and The Poll Tax?

  • Lindsay

    im very fond of the candy tax being as us washingtonians just started it as well now i know who to blame its absolute bulls*it.

  • Chineapplepunk

    What crap taxes, trust them to be mostly British! I want out of here!
    Do you know that there is VAT on sanitary towels and tampons because they are classed as a luxury item and not ‘necessary’?!?!

    • doug13

      Wow, that is amazing, I just wish you did'nt bring it up, maybe now some one in my goverment will try it

    • trinityenigma

      I know it's an absolute disgrace. Although I would add that it is a reduced VAT rate of 5% but still- it's not as if we choose to use them, we have to use them!

      And you can bet your life that if it was men menstruating then not only would they not be paying VAT, they would be free on the NHS!

    • witcharachne

      Yeah it's the same here in Oz. We pay GST on tampons and pads, because the're considered luxury items :P I'd like to see how quickly they became considered essentials if every woman in Australia stopped using them :P

    • Woyzeck

      They are a luxury item. Woyzeck can live without them, you should man up.

  • raddhaw

    I agree with 2 of these in theory. Candy tax makes sense if a better classification system is used, and if tax is applied to all "junk" foods. The cow tax is also valid; meat-eaters do not pay nearly the true cost of animal proteins.

    • deeeziner

      Meat eaters don't pay the true cost of animal proteins?

      What about death? Or subsequent heart disease. Don't get me wrong, I love my steak or a bit of ground beef, but without education and moderation it's hardly a healthy diet., and what can be more costly than death?

      If you are pointing a finger at cow farts, then let's see you scramble your way out of admitting that a veggie diet manufactures methane. Broccolli and beans anyone? Or the fact that cows are vegetarians.

      And lastly….If farts are the true problem, why only cows…don't chickens and pigs fart too?

  • oliveralbq

    jf–your love for analysing the bizarre showed big time — this was a great write up — and at current, armadillotron has one of the better of the 37 comments…..good job….

    we have a weird ass sin tax here in miss and louisiana, so it was interesting to see some of the fucked up taxes elsewhere……

    • a "sin" tax?
      what in the world is that? and who defines what the "sin" is?
      I've never heard of this…I can't imagine how it would be implemented.
      ~boggle~boggle~boggle~

      • Maggot

        You’ve never heard that term before? I thought it was pretty common slang…surely it was coined to originally refer to the taxes levied on the so-called “sins” of booze, tobacco, and playing cards (representing gambling).

        • vonhohenzollern

          I've never heard of that and I live in Texas…

        • oliveralbq

          i did too maggot — in fact, i'm not sure about wash.d.c., but i have heard that term most places i've lived — los angeles, albuquerque, here in new orleans and biloxi, tuscaloosa, las vegas….
          iactually cannot remember not hearing it, but it's minor in a lot of those places, whereas here, it's on the news every 3 days, and it is oft debated in state legislation.

        • TEX

          I've heard it all my life and I live in Texas…

    • astraya

      I thought you had weird ass syntax in the southern USA!

      • oliveralbq

        we do, man —
        like….really weird
        it's more a matter of what words these people use, not so much the way theyre string together. and as i'm suree you've noticed, i have exemplary punctuation and capitalisation

        but, yeah, that is the little play on words from local people — people who think everyone in minnesota, boston, uk, etc etc – talk funny
        um..yeah, no.

      • TEX

        djeet yet astraya?

    • oliveralbq

      ooook……
      a "sin tax", first of all, is a sumptuary tax. this refers to any tax levied on consumption —- well, that's the basic idea anyway.
      the description i have just given you is essentially how it got started, and listen —- it's an old old term, that used to apply to 'actual literal consumption'. i believe i have a basic understanding of the origin (pope leo x (1510?)– discussed later), and i do not know how it got morphed into its current usage.

      the current usage?
      well, it has come to mean a tax on anything that fits into these paradigms::
      —items/activities that seems "socially undesirable" — or —
      —items/activities that serve wholisticly as "vices" — or —
      —items/activities that are socially proscribed

      aside from this extremely vague description, i'm quite sure you can also see the amount of subjectivity necessary to pinpoint these activities and items.

      seggie, you asked who descides?
      it is a state sponsored tax — and each state legislation examines exactly what would generate extra revenue. there was an old political cartoon where a politician is holding a pack of cigarettes in each hand. a thought bubble on the left (where the pack of cigarettes says "sales") reads::"the good news is people are buying fewer cigarettes". the right hand is holding another pack (this one says "sales tax revenue") with the thought bubble reading:: "the bad news is people are buying fewer cigarettes". you might be thinking, ok, if its going even out, then why bother? well, needless to say: it doesnt even out — not even close. i'd believe that only 1 in 5 quit doing whatever, but the other 4 in 5 are happily paying extra. .. and dont start asking me about a source, because i am guessing — but it's a really good guess, i promise.

      the current sin taxes (which, if i'm not mistaken, has at least one example in each state, as well as abroad) started with a more literal idea. they began taxing alcohol, and tobacco soon followed. now, i would like to note that the rumour that alcohol and cigs are taxed heavily has *nothing* to do with more

      • oliveralbq

        ………………………………………..cont'd

        in many states, they simply want to raise more money for roads or schools or whatever. ((unlike some abroad, for example, sweeden, which uses its gambling sin tax to help gambling addicts))
        some politician, somewhere along the line, saw alcohol, cigs, etc as 'gluttony' — as a sin — and originally implimented these taxes more as a deterrent factor (of course adapting the plan of pope leo x).
        *then* the money started rolling in because this politician was wrong wrong wrong. now, the politicaian i was just referring to was disgusted that his idea didn't make more people quit commiting these 'sins'. everyone else, however, saw…….the money rolling in.

        this gave the gov't the idea and prerogative to follow with their bright plan:: to tax other sins as well. even to plop other activities into the mix, so they always have some why they continued to call em sins, i do not know. i honestly think that they just went with the play on words angle.
        i have said, they exist in most states.

        my original comment was greared to the states i am in/near — mississippi and louisiana. now, fron what i understand, other states in the bible belt (tenn., geor., fla., bama, ark., etc) also have sin taxes, or blue laws. colorado. idaho/ oregon —- likely wont have as many, because its a less conservative state.

        when legislature moved that other things need be counted under sumptuary tax laws, the literal part of the idea was pushed to the wayside. of course, now, under the guise of "sins" or "unfavourible behaviour", the state (mississippi and louisiana — all im speaking for) enacted laws that placed a tax on a whole ass-ton of other things, such as (.) gambling…(.) escort services…(.) most sporting events…(.) concerts (.) rubbers! rubbers, yo. — just all kinds of shit.

      • oliveralbq

        …..until hurricane katrina, which shut down the whole coast for about 3 months, and destroyed all but 1 of the casinos.

        when they went to reopen the casinos, they assumed they could get back on track financially. unfortunately, they didnt take into consideration that 25% of all homes were destroyed, and many other people had moved away. sooo……the casinos werent bringing enough money — so they started getting retarded on the sin taxes again.

      • oliveralbq

        this jumps into the dumbass sin taxes i referred to in the message from this morining. (all since-2005).
        –they have added about $1.75 on each pack of cigs
        –significantly increased school/univ stuff, sodsa, candy etc, etc.
        –they have set up a state agency (the abc – alcohol beverage control) to get distilleries to come down on the sale price to distributors — and then turning around and requiring liquor stores charge
        7% extra, most of which went to the state.
        –have began taxing movies (the cinemark, for example, has raised tix prices $2 for evening shows,, and $1.25 for matanees.
        –there is a sin tax associated with public transportation — the idea being that the cta (coast transit authority) is easier than driving (and maintaining a vehicle), therefore, it's a luxury, therefore, there is some justification of the mindset that the cta is a desired alternative,
        –many hobbies — fishing bait — they hit casinos in triplicate — pets — on and on and on
        do you see where i'm going with this? they're taxing virtually anything people do for fun — which has gotten simply retarded. many of the laws are so piddly and annoying, that it's sickening — but

      • oliveralbq

        knowing consumers arent going to cease from partaking, puts everyone in a tizzy, scrambling to decide which thing they can pick out of thin air to charge us more for.
        the whole thing, if explained in detail, and succinctly — on a timeline only gets stupider as the explaination continues, and cotinues deeply..

        i kinda lumped it all together — i get tv channels from new orleans, gulfport/biloxi, and mobile, alabama, and all three states frequently are calling in sessions to figure out what to lessen (due to public disgust) — as well as what to impliment to make up for the $$ they just lost by lesseing the %age of some other items, as complained about.

        its getting worse and worse, especially as the economy is in the toilet — and people are still partaking (both in spite of, and because of the recession).
        this quickly turns into a wicked massive chicken/egg discussion.
        it's dumb as shit, but it's simply not anything anyone can do anything about.
        which makes it worse.this jumps into the dumbass sin taxes i referred to in the message from this morining. (all since-2005).

        • oliveralbq

          –they have added about $1.75 on each pack of cigs
          –significantly increased school/univ stuff, soda, candy etc, etc.
          –they have set up a state agency (the abc – alcohol beverage control) to get distilleries to come down on the sale price to distributors — and then turning around and requiring liquor stores charge 7% extra, most of which went to the state.
          –have began taxing movies (the cine mark, for example, has raised tic prices $2 for evening shows,, and $1.25 for matanees.
          –there is a sin tax associated with public transportation — the idea being that the c t a (coast transit authority) is easier than driving (and maintaining a vehicle), therefore, it's a luxury, therefore, there is some justification of the mindset that the cta is a desired alternative,
          –many hobbies — fishing bait — they hit casinos in triplicate — pets — on and on and on
          do you see where i'm going with this? they're taxing virtually anything people do for fun — which has gotten simply retarded. many of the laws are so piddly and annoying, that it's sickening — but knowing consumers arent going to cease from partaking, puts everyone in a tizzy, scrambling to decide which thing they can pick out of thin air to charge us more for.
          the whole thing, if explained in detail, and succinctly — on a timeline only gets stupider as the explaination continues, and cotinues deeply..

      • oliveralbq

        –they have added about $1.75 on each pack of cigs
        –significantly increased school/univ stuff, soda, candy etc, etc.
        –they have set up a state agency (the abc – alcohol beverage control) to get distilleries to come down on the sale price to distributors — and then turning around and requiring liquor stores charge 7% extra, most of which went to the state.
        –have began taxing movies (the cine mark, for example, has raised tic prices $2 for evening shows,, and $1.25 for matanees.
        –there is a sin tax associated with public transportation — the idea being that the c t a (coast transit authority) is easier than driving (and maintaining a vehicle), therefore, it's a luxury, therefore, there is some justification of the mindset that the cta is a desired alternative,

        • oliveralbq

          –many hobbies — fishing bait — they hit c asinos in triplica te — pets — on and on and on
          do you see where i'm going with this? they're taxing virtually anything people do for fun — which has gotten simply retarded. many of the laws are so piddly and annoying, that it's sickening — but knowing consumers arent going to cease from partaking, puts everyone in a tizzy, scrambling to decide which thing they can pick out of thin air to charge us more for.
          the whole thing, if explained in detail, and succinctly — on a timeline only gets stupider as the explaination continues, and cotinues deeply..
          i kinda lumped it all together — i get tv channels from new orleans, gulfport/biloxi, and mobile,
          alabama, and all three states frequently are calling in sessions to figure out what to lessen (due to public disgust) — as well as what to impliment to make up for the $$ they just lost by lesseing
          the %age of some other items, as complained about.
          its getting worse and worse, especially as the economy is in the toilet — and people are still partaking (both in spite of, and because of the recession).
          this quickly turns into a wicked massive chicken/egg discussion.
          it's dumb as shit, but it's simply not anything anyone can do anything about.
          which makes it worse.

          • oliveralbq

            ok —- one of the middle comments got thrown into moderation, and the java script is acting screwey, so if something doesnt make sense, then just ask……..

  • Alfy

    I actually agree that they should do some kind of system to stop kids eating the crap they do. They are getting fatter by the year.

    Maybe a tax on restaurants that sell unhealthy food.

    • doug13

      I agree but what food is'nt unhealthy now adays?, even so called healthy food is filling with so much shit , it almost defeats the purpose of eating well

    • bluesman87

      naw they should tax the parents for getting their kids fat . Its the parents fault and its not fair to kids. Like that show half ton teen . I was shocked at those parents .

      • doug13

        Most people should'nt be parents anyways- I saw in California (shocking!) that soon there you need a license to own a pet- but any asshole can be a parent, great thinking

        • vonhohenzollern

          That doesn't make much sense. You can't prevent a parent from having a child, but you can prevent a child from having a parent (loss of custody, social services, etc.).

          • bluesman87

            we should do what the SPCA does and just put them down .,

      • vonhohenzollern

        Most of the times, the parents enable the children. They feed the kids food whenever they want it and don't think twice about it.

  • oouchan

    Great list!
    When I saw the crack tax, I thought of the kid's with their pants hanging low. That would make them pull their pants up…a nice big tax.
    The cow farts had me giggling.

    Ever see the (very bad B rate) movie Popeye? Robin Williams played in it……anyway… there was a tax guy that kept coming around that taxed for EVERYTHING! My favorite one was when Popeye tried to pay one of the taxes….he didn't have the right amount and would need change back …..the tax man said "There's a 5 cent exact change tax." Stupid, but funny.

    • TEX

      oouch – that movie is a matter of taste – strange, yes – but hardly B rate. Some people hate it – I think it's been up on a 10 worst list, but the truth is they still run it from time to time – they wouldn't do that if nobody was watching. It has a sort of underground cult following.
      I find it a very strange film.
      strange = interesting

      • oouchan

        It IS B rate….but I'm one of the cult following it. :) I actually think its funny.

        • bluesman87

          robin williams is a pretty good popeye .

          • TEX

            check those forearms

  • Spuat

    I love these bizarre lists, thank you! The cow tax made me laugh, and I'm glad I'm not living in the 1st century with the urine tax.

  • arsnl- thank you for catching astraya’s anagram/palindrome. i read that as ‘acronym’, and hopped in the shower, trying to figure out what the hell it stood for. good catch- you saved me the embarassment of incorrectly accusing him of eating a ‘shroom omelette with opium-poppy garnish, as i am good at acronyms, but was utterly stumped.

  • Erik

    This is by far one of the most interesting lists I’ve read. And the lists as of late have been pretty rad. As a person in favor of a progessive tax I’m a fan of most of these : D and I’m really glad we don’t have a drug tax in indiana.

  • mom424

    Excellent list Jamie. Never ceases to amaze me the lengths the gov't will go to collect money. Here in Canada, what with the new amalgamation of provincial and federal taxes (Ontario is 13% – 8% provincial and 5% federal), we pay tax on everything but food. Of course only real food. Convenience food and luxury food are not tax exempt. So we pay a candy tax, and a fast food tax. Frankly what with the burgeoning middle of our middle class, I'd like to see the fast food tax quadrupled. Other sin taxes don't bother me either – booze, cigarettes, yachts, fur coats, luxury cars….. Feel free. This is all over and above our income tax (hit federally and provincially) and a health tax for those above the poverty line.

    btw – we have a crack tax too. In Canada you must (of course no one does) report all income. Prostitution, drug dealing whatever. Revenue Canada is not allowed to spill to the police. Your income tax information is protected.

    Frankly it's not the taking of taxes that irritates me – it's the way it gets spent. Every special interest group gets a cut, they spend thousands on "studies". Studies for things that anyone with an ounce of common sense already knows the answer to. Wasteful, wasteful. Lets not even mention the top-heaviness of gov't institutions. Amazing any work gets done at all, what with all those Chiefs and very few Indians.

    • Dave

      Such is the nature government.

  • jimh81

    VAT!!! not only in england are we taxed nearly 20% of what we earn but when we spend what we have left we get taxed a further 17.5% as VAT which stands for Value Added Tax get rid of the government and go back to the stoneage I say

    • JohnR

      Sorry Jim but you have forgotten the NI @ 10% on top of the basic 20%. I know there is a need to collect enough money for any society to function in a modern world but to fleece the least well off is detrimental to society as a whole. If they had gone down the Norwegian route with the oil income we would not be in the sad position we are in now. Or taxing the obscene amounts of traded currency would bring in more than all the income tax put together. And that would only be something like 0.00001% of the traders profits!

    • Dave

      Almost, get rid of the government and go to the space age.

  • Gauldar

    Homer: Let the bears pay the bear tax while I pay the Homer tax.
    Lisa: Dad, that's the home owner tax.

  • leo

    i think back in the day France tried to levy tax on celibacy

    • oliveralbq

      seriously? get the fuck outta here……

      like we need *another* reason not to be celibate……

  • JV

    Excuse me Arsnl, but how do you suffer from V8’s? Do you drive behind Diesel trucks on purpose?

    Did you know that most of the new (1990 and up) large 5-8L engines consume the same amount of fuel as an “eco-friendly” 2.5L?

    That’s because the power is realized at lower RPM’s, for example, you can drive at 60Mph at 1000-1500 RPM on a big block, while a 2.5L would need to rev up to 4000, then stay at least at 2500-3000 to cruise at 60MPH.

    So they consume the same amount of fuel in normal use (plus you get the benefit of being able to tow something when you need it) and release the same amount of CO2, yet we pay more for having a big truck.

    And there are actually very few cigarette smokers dying of cancer, most of them live as much as non smokers and die for other stupid reasons like car crashes (in their Smarts and Priuses).

    • Arsnl

      Well your reply is tricky. I meant that the western world being mostly an urbanized society there is not need for big engines/powerful cars. Ive checked a few numbers ( a v8 4L vw touareg gets a 239 g/km of co2 mpg at 19 and a 2l vw gorl gets a 192 and mpg at 32 about so id appreciate it if you'd give me more details why a large 8L car is as efficient as a 2.5 one) but the general thing is in a city you dont drive at 60mph so its not logical to have such a car.
      And related to smoking, there are many more related issues not just cancer adn other health related issues. its also about prevention, statistics show younger people dont take up smoking so easily if cigarettes are taxed. Sadly the same goes for alcohol (and it should be more so since it also causes traffic accidents)
      Im just the annoying european lefty that likes to tax everything and a lot of it.

    • TEX

      Cigarette and alcohol taxes are more like social penalties in nature – the government can place exorbitant taxes on anything that is frowned upon by the self-righteous.
      The irony is that in most cases not one cent of these penalties is put in a fund for treatment of alcohol or tobacco related maladies – thus a complete lie.

  • Lifeschool

    Excellent list today – I read every word. Isn’t it strange the Gov’ts print their own money, hand it to us, and then take it back again. Now we have worked for free. It’s a bit like I pay Peter $10, he pays Paul $10, and Paul pays me the very same $10, and I’ve got my money back. Just about everything is taxed, and even some taxes are taxed (we in the UK pay Tax on our road Tax!), in fact the Air and the Sunlight are some of the few untaxed things remaining – and I’m sure the International Weather Service – run by HAARP (see: Back to the Future II) will soon see that one straight.

    Even Money itself is taxed.

    But it’s all an illusion. Paper with words and symbols does not have a value. Gold is a shiny metalic ore, and diamonds are carbon crystals – both are lumps of dirt dug out of the ground.

    • TEX

      Sounds like the Beavis and Butthead method.
      Given boxes of chocolate bars to sell for the school – they give up immediately. Beavis asked Butthead for a candy bar who tells him to piss-off unless he has a dollar – Beavis gives dollar to Butthead. Butthead asks Beavis for a bite, Beavis tells him to piss-off “you got a dollar” – so Butthead gives dollar back to Beavis for candy bar. Soon Beavis gives dollar to Butthead for a candy bar etc. etc. etc.
      The next day at school they proudly announce that they have sold all of their candy and hand the teacher a dollar.

      • Lifeschool

        Good catch Tex. They say 'What goes around, comes around'. :)

        If Britain paid France the $10 (billion) it owes France, and then France used it to pay Germany the 10 (billion) bucks it owes, and then Germany used this very same money to pay off Britain the $10 (billion) it owes, then everybody would be dept free and Britain would have it's money back without spending one penny.

        You gotta laugh.

        • TEX

          I am – believe me – what else can you do?

  • General Tits Von Chodehoffen

    Haha nice list. I'm diggin the crack tax, I wonder how many people payed that.

  • vonhohenzollern

    Ah, very nice list. This just reaffirms my views about the incompetence of government. It also proves that government wants to control our everyday lives and make us do what they want us to do. Sure, cigarette smoking is bad, but if someone wants to commit slow motion suicide, let them. Sure, eating candy is bad, but if someone wants to eat so much food that they become a human pig, let them. It's not up to the government to decide what we do everyday. It's up to us, ourselves. That is the beauty of democracy.

    • Arsnl

      Let me guess, you're american.

      • vonhohenzollern

        Yes, I am. What's so bad about that?

        • Arsnl

          See one man says you're an american and you assume its something bad.
          its just that hatred towards a govt even though your teachers, mds, military are military people are govt employees or get paid by money collected by the govt, you just hate the govt. You vote the people on that govt, you give the govt the authority to keep you safe, to manage your money, to educate your children, but the govt is eeevil and whats to control you. If you are so desperate about control issues vote for people that will give the military 0 dollars, so it wont be able to control you at all.
          Oh wait, are you republican? Then you're in a mess, cuz republicans are the people that usually give more money to the military and they put rockets in europe. Talk about control.
          And if you read your comment again you will see you dont sound at all swedish or german or nowegian.

          • vonhohenzollern

            I did not vote to put the people in office that are in office right now. I voted for the person who I believed would be the best leader, and that candidate just happened to be conservative. Just because someone is in office does not mean I voted for them. There is always an opponent. Just because I may have conservative view points does not mean that I agree with putting rockets in Europe and all of that bullshit. I have my own views, most of which are conservative, some of which are liberal.
            I'm not sure what that last part of your comment meant about me sounding German. I'm not supposed to. I am an American, born and raised. If you read your comment back, it makes absolutely no sense.
            Not all things that the government does is bad, but the direction that it is going is worrisome. They want to mold the citizens into what they think is the perfect person instead of just letting us live our lives. Yes, they pay for education, yes they protect me, yes they do all those things, but the only way they are able to do those things is through the citizen. We pay taxes, that is how they make money. It is a delicate balance, we depend on them, but they depend on us just as much.

    • Arsnl

      I mean that you sound like a conservative american and it was obvious. You can even call it a speech: ” direction that it is going is worrisome”, “They want to mold the citizens into what they think is the perfect person instead of just letting us live our lives”, “It’s not up to the government to decide what we do everyday”. I heard that before (usually just from the american right wingers. The same right wingers that voted the patriotic act. (and personally ive noticed that all right wing govts want to put more surveillance on the streets).
      But essentially your way of life isnt different than your parents, your liberties havent been restricted, the govt hasnt made you a perfect citizen, has it?
      “That is the beauty of democracy.” & ” Just because someone is in office does not mean I voted for them” well thats the beauty of democracy. You opinion is worth much. Neither is mine.
      But enough of me criticizing your opinions. Let me share mine so you can bash me too. For me the govt (of a democratic country and ill talk only about the people in power not civil employees) is a tool (and some rulers are tools too but thats another discution). And i prefer to remember its good uses: when it sponsors large scientific endeavours (lhc, space program, nuclear energy programs), when it doesnt consider efficiency in domains such like education or health care or social programs, or to regulate the private sector these are things that only a govt can do. They can be managed by private entities.
      And its non sensical to say that the govt is our enemy or that it is a necessary evil. Finally a govt represents society’s interests and corruption occurs only when people inside the govt forget who they represent really.
      Ps: the hohenzollerns were great rulers.

      • vonhohenzollern

        I respect your beliefs, although I do not neccesarily agree with them. We all have our own opinions. I agree with you that my opinion is worth just as much as your's. I think that the government is a tool that is to be manipulated by the citizens, so I agree with you on that. I think that instead of investing so much in social programs for the disadvantaged (social security is great!), we should invest more in education and try to help the working poor. If we invest more in education, then maybe we won't have to give away free healthcare and housing. Most of what you say makes sense. But, I believe that the thing I agree with most in your whole comment is the bit about the Hohenzollerns. They were truly great rulers. They took Germany from a collabaration of city states and made it into one of the greatest countries on Earth. It's too bad that Wilhelm II joined Austria-Hungary in World War I.

    • Maggot

      It also proves that government wants to control our everyday lives and make us do what they want us to do.

      No it doesn’t. They just want revenue streams.

    • TEX

      von – you are absolutely right on, The current American administration is the most threatening to freedom ever – worse than i could have ever imagined. Come on November.

  • MFC

    Funny entries, but Jamie's political agenda is again more than a little prominent in the introduction…

    Nothing stupid about candy tax per se – nobody needs to eat that junk, it's only harmful to health and strains the health care system even more – but yeah, the categorization between candy and non-candy is hilariously lame.

    • randomprecision24

      but should we let the government regulate our diets?

      • Woyzeck

        For the good of the country, yes. People are weak and stupid and can't take care of themselves. If it becomes too easy for them to eat themselves to death then it is the government's duty to prevent this from happening – even if this is unpopular. If this wasn't the case then the "five giants" of poverty would never have been vanquished.
        Woyzeck hates the fact that people nowadays automatically assume that populism is synonymous with wisdom.

      • vonhohenzollern

        Yes, I agree. A fat person doesn't hurt anybody other than their self. As long as what they are doing doesn't hurt anyone or has the possibility to hurt anyone, than let them do it. It's their choice. There is not tax on suicide, yet there is a tax on cigarettes and candy. Make much sense?

        • Arsnl

          Well in europe it does hurt the system. They need special care, special medication, heart problems are sky rocketing, these people need to be socially inserted (you cant let forget about them)jobs are harder to find, they cant work as much. so yeah its a financial strain cuz they ARE partt of our society

        • Woyzeck

          Nobody profits from suicide and it is in nobody's best interests that suicide be marketed to vulnerable people. Fat people do hurt people other than themselves, their health problems area a drain on public resources and they make my eyes bleed.

          • vonhohenzollern

            That is like saying that too many people get cancer, so everytime someone gets cancer I am going to tax them. Yes, fat people are a drain on public resources, but they pay taxes just like everyone else and have a right to the health care that everyone else has. Cancer is a very deadly disease and is very hard and expensive to treat. People who get cancer are a drain on the public resources, but they pay taxes, just like fat people, so they get health care, too.
            Yes, it's not people's faults that they get cancer, but sometimes it's not fat people's faults that they get fat. Sometimes, there is a psychological condition and sometimes, like in some children's cases, people enable them.

        • Yes, it does make sense, because people who eat themselves into obesity, into diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, and a host of related diseases, create a drain on the health services of the nation.
          Same goes for smoking, but there the smoker not only harms themselves, but their families via second-hand smoke. The cancer rate, the heart disease, lung diseases of every sort sky rocket in the families of smokers, not just the smokers themselves. That creates another HUGE drain on the health service industry in the US.
          It's not hurting anyone? Really? We have identified the families of smokers, if we are reducing this *physical* harm. If we widen the definition to just *harm*, then we can start adding in all of the costs to the health care system that end up being being paid by you and me.
          Let's be generous, let's say that 50% of the people who come down with serious illness due to obesity or smoking are adequately covered by Health Insurance. They cost us, but it's way down the line and in ways that we cost others too, so that's a wash.
          The other 50% aren't covered by insurance, they go to the Emergency Room. The ER cannot turn a patient away. The patient becomes involved in the free health care system…It's good health care…often at teaching hospitals, with cutting edge care and the newest machinery.
          How does all this get paid for?
          There is no genie with money just falling out of the sky into the coffers of these hospitals.
          Some of the money comes from other areas, but the bulk comes from us.
          So, yes, it does hurt us.
          I'm not trying to be heartless or insensitive. I'm just stating a plain fact.

          • TEX

            segues – i've been thinking about this a lot lately for some reason, mostly about food quality. To be brief – buy local is what everybody should consider getting behind. Better quality, fresher, less chemicals – the old varieties of real vegetables, instead of the shite that’s bred to ship and store well. Helps the local economy, etc.
            Don’t get me wrong I’m no eco-freak – I just remember what a tomato is supposed to tastes like.
            I think better nutrition would come with it naturally.

    • Lym

      Are you kidding? Sure, nobody "needs" to eat candy, but I eat it because I like it, and I'm not fat. Why should I be punished for people who can't or won't control themselves? They can get fat on plenty of foods other than candy (or soda, or chips, or fast food). Lots of people manage to eat junk food or fast food as an occasional thing without blowing up into a whale.

    • Steven Douglas

      Ugh….barf! With those words "strains the health care system", you just made THE most effective argument against socialized "we're all in it together, so we all have to decide what each other can do and not do" healthcare. What a nasty breed of sick, demented, control-freak thoughts. It is not just nauseatingly hive-minded, but also the stuff of slavery.

      "Nobody needs to…" What supreme arrogance! What total and utter rot!

      News flash, MFC: Jamie is not the one with a political agenda. You have it exactly, even if unwittingly, backwards, as that was mindless projection on your part.

      • MFC

        Not everything is always black and white… Taxing (which does not equal banning!) harmful, unnecessary foods is not slavery and it's not deciding what people can or cannot do. In countries with state-funded health care system it's simply being rational. While most people eat these foods in moderation there is a huge number of those who wreck their health by eating candy/junk food uncontrollably, and many of them are children and teenagers who don't exactly understand the health problems waiting for them in future. Obviously this does strain the health care system, but it could be preventable. Regulating (again not banning) foods that are only harmful to health is one way. Of course tax-based regulation isn't a flawless system, but what is?

        As for "nobody needs to…", I wasn't saying that people need to stop eating candy and other junk food. What I meant is that these foods are not necessary to anyone, nobody actually needs them to live. Excluding these kinds of foods from anyone's diet would not damage their health in any way. I wouldn't want to see these banned, that's a whole different matter.

        And in regards to Jamie's political 'agenda' (probably should have used a different word), everyone here is familiar with his political views and he has every right to express them on his site (and anywhere else). I was just pointing it out, not accusing him of anything. Obviously I have my political views as well and I'm not trying to hide it.

        • Steven Douglas

          Screw the health care "system". The fact that it's even considered as "a system", as if it were somehow an homogeneous entity that somehow could be "strained", and in such a way that it would affect others no less, makes it little more than a monster worth killing. The health care "system" is an illusion. An artificial construct, with layers upon layers of systemic corruption.

          Forget junk foods, even smoking isn't "necessary" to a body, but the fact that it is perceived by the critically unthinking as "straining the system", or "burdening the system" – that big, tangled, homogeneous sounding, bureaucracy laden ponzi pyramid scheme of a monstrosity that so many fear-based, unthinking-but-feeling types are wont to protect, even at the expense of liberty… makes the entire thing worth killing.

          Oh, and you used "state-funded health care system" and "rational" (root=ration?) in the same sentence. And states don't fund anything. Only the people they tax do.

  • randomprecision24

    .Here in Philadelphia the hot topic is the beverage tax, which adds an extra tax on soda and sugary drinks, on top of the 8% sales tax (2% above the state tax). The idea is to cut down people's intake of unhealthy drinks and promote a more healthy diet, as well as help bail out the nearly bankrupt government

    • Lifeschool

      Beverage tax income will never amount to a hill of beans – certainly not enough to 'bail out' a system on the verge of bankrupcy. It's a propaganda illusion. It's like they used to ask women to hand over their stockings during the second world war, not for any real purpose, but it helped the public feel better.

      You wanna make the public feel better? Safer?, more secure? Scrap the nuclear weapons programmes and stop the war! – and save, oooh?, 200 Billion bucks and 100,000 lives?

  • undaunted warrior 1

    Enjoyed the read thanks, they say money makes the world go round.

  • freckledsmile99

    JF – you rock! Great list! I am in love with this site!

    • vonhohenzollern

      There is something strangely addictive about reading lists, isn't there? :)

      • freckledsmile99

        Absolutely! It's the first thing I read when I get in to my office every day.

  • vonhohenzollern

    I just saw on the television that in 134 days the biggest tax hike in American history will occur. :(

    • TEX

      word for November "REPEAL"

  • vonhohenzollern

    Well, I read that in Mexico they are thinking about legalizing drugs that are currently illegal and imposing a tax on them. That way, most of the drug violence would be resolved and there would be no pressure on the United States to legalize marijuana, cocaine, etc.

  • TEX

    Now this is a topic I can get in to – my whole political philosophy is centered around taxation and the various ways federal, state, local legislators are looking for ever creative ways to take my money and tell me it is not a tax –
    License fees
    Inspection fees
    Processing fees
    Assessment of tax at point of use on money that has already been taxed!!!

    Legislated mandates that force up costs of goods and services that are passed on to consumers (that’s one of my favorite sodomizations – the government passes legislation that penalizes industry that in turn forces up consumer cost and yet the legislators say “that did not increase your federal taxes” – that’s just a lie)

    “when the friction comes to have its machine, and oppression and robbery are organized, I say, let us not have such a machine any longer. In other words, (concerning liberty, indenturement, and foreign aggression) I think that it is not too soon for honest men to rebel and revolutionize.”
    – Henry Thoreau

  • Great list! I truly enjoyed it, and it brought to mind a few others…Margaret Thatcher's Poll tax was pretty bizarre, taxing households by the number of occupants, rather than by income. This led to the poorest citizens paying the highest taxes…it only lasted from 1990 to the 1993-94 council session (when everyone regained their senses).
    Not particularly bizarre, but certainly of unique importance, was the British Tea tax imposed by George III. It led to the December 16, 1773 Boston Tea Party, the American Revolution, and what became the United States of America.
    All because of a tea tax.
    okay, okay, there were other issues…but the tax thing worked in so well.

    • Armadillotron

      I remember The Poll Tax. Remember The ENGLAND NOT POLL-LAND," T-shirts? I had one! The original Poll Tax," was in 1381, and it led to Wat Tyler`s Revolt. And the Poll Tax was then scrapped. Do you know my Dogs name, is Tyler?

      • How on earth would we know your dog's name?
        I mean, seriously…unless you believe we are spying on you, and you wear a little tin foil hat so that we can't read your thoughts, things like your dog's name are pretty safe secrets.

        • oh, wait…that was a rhetorical question, wasn't it?
          Never mind.

        • vonhohenzollern

          My dog's name is Axel! :) Just kidding.

          • good to know, in case I ever want to call him!

          • Armadillotron

            Welcome. He`s an Alsatian crossbreed. He`s great.

          • Crossed with what, do you know?
            The best dog I ever had was a Border Collie. Jess. I had her for 17 years. She was brilliant.
            She was healthy until she died…of old age…in my arms at home.

          • vonhohenzollern

            My mom had two border collies when she was a kid. She loved them so much you can't express it in words. I would've get one, but I read that they tend to herd people around (i.e. tell them where to go), so I got a lab instead. Labs are really great dogs.

          • Dr. Matt Zarzeczny

            I am sorry to read about the loss of your dog. My 11 year old basset hound passed on May 27th. She was like a child to me.

          • Did you name that because you are a skater? Or after Axel Rose? Or just because you liked the name?

          • vonhohenzollern

            No, actually some pretty intense research went into that name. Axel is the German variation of Absalom, which just sounds pretty cool. But, Absalom is also the son of David who's head got chopped off when he hit a branch when riding a horse. Absalom is also that blue worm in Alice and Wonderland that gave her all that advice and was really wise.

          • I read Alice in Wonderland probably a dozen times, and I never knew that the caterpillar was named Absalom!
            I can still recite entire chunks of that book, and Alice's Adventures Through the Looking-glass, too.
            I have to agree that Axel is a much easier call name! By the time you got through calling "Absalom", he'd be out of earshot. ;-)

  • vonhohenzollern

    Okay, okay, I suppose I have lost. You do have genuinely good points, but I still think that you can't regulate people's diets or lifestyles. Now, let's stop arguing as I have admitted defeat.

    • Woyzeck

      Fair enough. As with sex, I tend to lose interest when my opponent stops struggling.

      • Arsnl

        Hmmm strangely in the other way round.
        But in a more serious note i just saw Scum (1979 version). American history X is a puppy dog compared to this baby.

        • Woyzeck

          Where's your fucking tool?

      • Arsnl

        Up your f’cking borstal!

    • TEX

      you didn't loose jack shit von

      • Arsnl

        Dude he was sitting duck there. Comparing cancer to obesity. Especially to Woyzeck, he's got an A-level in sociology. do you know what sociology is? sociology is the study of social problems. Now you, you've got a big social problem.

        • vonhohenzollern

          Yes, he is rather hard to debate.

        • TEX

          sociology is what you take to get easy credits – no brains required

  • lilyflower123

    Great list :)
    I loved the candy tax. So Baby Ruth is taxed higher, but not Twix because Twix has a cookie in it, which uses flour?

    • yup.
      Pretty stupid, what?
      Very much like when Ronald Regan wanted to allow ketchup to count as a vegetable in school lunches. It's brain death on the part of politicians.
      You have to wonder what they're thinking process was…or wasn't.
      If it was me, I would just say add the tax on anything with such & such a percentage of added sugar. Bingo. Problem solved.

    • vonhohenzollern

      I like Twix better than Baby Ruth, so I'm glad it's not taxed. :)

      • I actually don't eat candy, so it doesn't matter to me one way or the other.
        If I want something intensely sweet, I will make a cake (from scratch), or a Pavlova. That's it for me and sweets, and because of the time and energy involved in making the cake or the Pavlova, I don't do it very often…three or four times a year.

        • sam

          segues – you can make the pavolva only on the condition that you think fondly of NZ – its birthplace – when you make it : )

          • Not only do I do so, but I make sure to mention the entire story of it's origin to guests who are all (every one of them, except repeat guests…who request it) having it for the first time.
            It's hilarious. I'll have made it for dessert for a dinner, usually for guests who are staying overnight. The next morning, inevitably, when asked what they want want for breakfast, it's always…*always*…more Pavlova…so we all finish it off. Then the woman wants the recipe, a copy of which I have learnt to keep on hand for exactly this reason.
            Every American I make it for has thought it the best food they ever put in their mouth. Naturally, I say, it's from NZ! :-D

          • As a dedicated kiwi, I have to second that :)

          • Ah! And you should have my Pavlova! I use Hawaiian Papaya, Kiwi (of course), strawberries, blueberries, bananas…mangos if I get good ones…and I learnt to make a perfect meringue from my ozzi mum.

          • sam

            I'm pleased you are spreading the good word segues! I too am a pavlova buff, however as a great big uncouth 110kg rugby front rower I must look a tad silly hunched over sculpting my pav to perfection! Pavs are my only culinary specialty so my poor ol' girlfriend gets one for every and any occasion. Anyway, glad that there are other pav nuts around – albeit on the other side of the world. Cheers.

      • lilyflower123

        hahaha me too :)

    • Lym

      You know Twizzlers have flour in them too. Try telling me they're not candy. What a stupid distinction.

  • I just tried to e.mail you some photos of tractors and things you might like, but your mail program rejected my e.mail.

    • Arsnl

      And im very interested in seeing those photos. is there any way to send you my email?

      • my e.mail is on my Forums profile, on my website, or Jamie can give it to you.

  • What about HST in Canada? I'm still unsure why I'm paying this damn new tax… It must have something to do with 2012…

  • C&J

    :)

  • seggie….i see your message….but m still at work….local news (new orleans times-picayune) and the biloxi news have dubbed this a sin tax teryin to be cute……. it hasato do with sins here in the bible belt south usa— ill try to explain iit better when i get home.

    • Great! I am extremely curious.

      • wait! that's badly worded…it could be interpreted in all sorts of weird, unmeant ways…I am eager to know what the sin tax is all about…yes, better.

        • vonhohenzollern

          I am too. I have never heard about this tax and I live in Texas!

          • oliveralbq

            check where i mentioned it in my comment from this morning — i tried to explain it, but the middle became invisible and its a ghost — if that makes something not make sense, let me know

        • oliveralbq

          i knew what you meant silly girl —
          i attached to me my comment from this mornign

      • oliveralbq

        i attached to my comment from this mornign

  • Waterboarder

    How about a tax for telling lies, so Tony Blair, George W Bush and the rest of the warmongering idiots can pay the billions of pounds the Iraq War has cost?

  • mordechaimordechai

    Ahhh!!! i see it was "Taxes"
    I thought it was about Bizarre Texas ! that would be a fun list.

  • oliveralbq

    exactly how many days in a row does someone have to do this before you take b3ar's advice and just charge the dude..?

    this cat is at 3

    • bluesman87

      he's trying to see how low the points can actually go i think .

  • Derp

    In germany there are amusement- and prostitution-taxes.

  • thisguy

    WTF is with #4,2 and 1?!

  • Dog

    Great list, I didn't know most of them.

  • Lifeschool

    Of course they TAX the intelligent but leave the dumb alone, do you think they're STUPID?! The dumb are too dumb to ever challenge them.

  • Steven Douglas

    @Lifeschool – Very nicely put, I could not agree more.

  • TEX

    hear hear!

  • Diana

    In California they recently started the food service tax (could be called something else). Not only do you have to pay the regular tax on food but if it is prepared by a person in lets say McDonlad's or Burger King then you have to pay an additional tax for it having been prepared for you. So that meal you thought was going to be $5 bucks ends up being more like $7.70. It'sa rip off.

  • RedMan

    Most people in the U.S.A. do not realize that taxes were originally optional and are still to this day. It's not government that comes after you it's the I.R.S. which is actually a privately founded organization. Almost every state has passed laws regarding taxes but federally there is no obligation for them. If you don't want to pay you don't need too pay anything according to the founders of the country. Just an interesting tidbit they won't teach in school. American schools lie about almost everything historical because the government wants it that way so they don't lose power. It's a fact and I am sure I will get hell for this post. What's an honest person gonna do? My bad spelling is a good example of the American education system. LOL should mean lot's of love!

  • Strembop

    u remember the monty python sketch…

    “i think we should tax… thingy. weve taxed everything else pleasurable, so we should tax… thingy.”

    “Thingy?”

  • jocurileus

    holy c***, I think you never heard of Romania, we have cr**loads of curious taxes.

  • people are stupid

  • alencon

    @RedMan

    Riiiight. Try and get away with not paying federal taxes and you can enjoy a nice long vacation at a place called Levenworth while the IRS confiscates and sells off whatever you may happen to possess.

    You are required, by law, to submit a SIGNED Income Tax return every year. The SIGNED part of it is important because that is an affirmation that you are being honest in what you are submitting. Failure to file, or gross purposeful inaccuracy on your return, will get you charged with a thing called Income Tax Evasion. This is a form of Fraud and a Federal Offense. Not a real good idea to go down this road.

  • alencon

    @Jamie Frater

    You clearly don't have any concept about how difficult running a modern government is if you lightly toss out accusations about the government not wanting to put effort into anything. I don't work for the government but I interact with government organizations on a regular basis. You are HIGHLY dependent upon the government providing a long, long, long list of complex services that all of us take for granted on a daily basis.

    Are governments often inefficient? Yes they are. Are politicians often corrupt? You bet they are. Are government officials often incompetent? Again, they sure are. But there are also tens of thousands of people in government that work their tails off to provide the goods and services that you and I take for granted and would have no hope of providing for ourselves.

  • I think that one day the government will put a tax on the air we breathe!

  • jadedcuzofu

    crack tax??? hahaha

  • Geoffers

    The window tax caused a lot of people to brick up their windows – and this brought about the phrase – "IT IS DAYLIGHT ROBBERY!!"

  • Anwar

    i’m so glad that from where i live theres no taxes!!

  • David Hopkins

    Oh great! Somebody's going to put a tax on Listverse.com next.

  • cynicalgenius

    All a crack tax will do is weed out the dumb drug dealers. You shouldn’t be getting caught in the first place.

  • Jasmin

    In Denmark we have a “tax” on the internet. It’s not formally a tax, but since you’re required to pay it even if you just own a device that can acces the internet (but not actually a connection) it is considered as such. It started out as a radio license way back when, then became a TV license, then a colour TV license and now it’s a media license. The radio license does still exist and if you ONLY own a radio you can get away with paying the much smaller radio license. If however you own a TV, a phone that can access the internet, a PS or other gaming console with internet access or some other gismo that in some way or form has the possibility of accessing the internet (even if you never use it for that purpose or, like mentioned, don’t even have a connection) you’re required to pay the license. Only exception is, if you ONLY own a TV and you can document that you’ve had the reciever removed so you won’t be able to pick up a signal on it.

    Or the new “Fat Tax” which taxes the very lean pork tenderloin but not the not so lean chicken leg. Why? Because it’s just too damn bothersome to actually distinguish and therefore the tax is based on what animal the meat is from rather than the fat contents of the actual piece of meat. And why was it made? To make people healthy of course! *mumbles something rude about the danish government*

  • Captain Carrot

    Ok, I just had to comment on the Swedish baby name tax thing.

    WTF is wrong w/those parents? Ok, the tax is ridiculous, I get that. But to selfishly use their own child to simply stick their tongue out at the government is not only f’n juvenile, it’s also highly ignorant.

    People are so damn selfish these days it’s unreal. Yes, let’s give the kid a complex by giving him/her a stupid, sh*t name because we want to say “nyah nyah nyah” to the govt and their tax.

    They are not thinking about their child, only themselves. And honestly, with some of the dumb a$$ names ignorant people come up with these days, they should have that tax world-wide. F**k those idiots that give their babies stupid names simply because they’re ignorant, immature, and think they have to be so “unique” and “different” and think it’s cool.

    There are other ways to be different and unique in the world besides naming your kid after an internet search engine or a toy, or in some cases (like Tequila) a damn alcohol. Be unique by actually being unique, not by giving your defenseless child an ignorant name. Morons.

  • I’ll stick a link to this blog on my website. I am sure my visitors will think of this info very gre

    Compliments for this post, I am glad I noticed this website on yahoo.

  • ibrahim

    I am from Kuwait living in London now. In Kuwait we have 0% tax on everything except car/goods imports.

    Little frustrated by England’s high taxing policies.

  • PRosenthal

    What if a female had Hirsuitism, was she required to pay the “Beard Tax” too? :D

  • Mcooper

    Canada has a junk food tax too i used to work in a grocery store … chocolate bars pop chips and “prepared food” are taxed i don’t know all the details on the law tho