50 Tax Laws You Didn’t Know Existed in all 50 States: Some Make sense, Some Make you Want to Scream!

Nothing is worse than finishing a hard month of work, worrying about bills, food, childcare, health care.  And when you get that paycheck, you see that you’re working for your taxes more than you are yourself. Let’s not forget the things we buy, like cars, flight tickets, gas, food, and so much more. A lot of these taxes may come back to us through various services, some disappear into the pockets of people we will never meet. On April 15th, America will be “Celebrating” National Tax Day, and we would like to celebrate by laughing at and bringing attention to some of the less known tax laws in the united states.

“Don’t Tax My Cattle!”

In the state of Mississippi, the tax rate for median income fluxgates at around 4.00%, and the median income is approximately 35, to 40 thousand dollars.

“Don’t Tax My Cattle!”

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Taxes in the state can be very high, but one thing that the government is not going to touch is the Retail sales of livestock. Apparently, you can sell all the livestock you want in Mississippi, and you will be exempt entirely from a sales tax on the deal.

A License for Fun

If you’re from New England, you know that any form of fireworks is illegal, and many Americans in the North East find themselves driving south to Virginia to get their hands on them before the 4th of July. Well, despite the reputation of a place to buy fireworks.

A License for Fun

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Store clerks still need to pay 15 dollars to the state if they want to sell party poppers and sparklers, but fireworks? “Go ahead it’s fine.”

“But I Didn’t Do It!”

The Civil War was by far America’s most violent war, and it took more American lives than any other war in American history. But I was a long time ago.

“But I Didn’t Do It!”

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Despite the passing of time, residents of Alabama still have to pay a “Confederate Veterans Tax.” This being despite there are obviously no living veterans of the Civil War.

Horse Money

Horses are costly animals to acquire, and the tax man loves when you buy something expensive because it’s a chance to tax you bulky and make him money.

Horse Money

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The Average thoroughbred horse cost’s more than 80,000 dollars, and if you want to buy one in the state of Kentucky, than be ready to throw down another 6% in taxes.

Feeding the Kids

America is a pretty funny place. Some of the most taxed and expensive food’s in the United States is actually what’s healthy, like fruits, vegetables, oats, milk, and proteins.

Feeding the Kids

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Part of the reason for this is because of high taxes on these products. This dramatically affects children’s health in America, yet when it comes to livestock, the state of Tennessee is happy to exempt you from paying taxes on the feed it takes for them to grow healthy and active.

Tax the Tat

Millions of people in the world today have tattoos, pricing, and many other changes to their body’s made. Some of these body altering’s are not too cheap.

Tax the Tat

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A good sleeve tattoo can set you back a couple of thousands of dollars at least, and if you live in the state of Arkansas, you can go ahead and add 6% tax to that price tag too!

Feeding the Poor Makes you More

Poverty in 2019 is very far from disappearing, and many states around the country are trying their best to incentivize Americans to do their part to help end poverty in the nation. South Carolina had a pretty cool idea by giving a 50$ rebate for every donation of deer to the poor.

Feeding the Poor Makes you More

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So that means for every deer carcass donated to feed the poor through a charity, the butcher saves 50 dollars in tax. They may need to raise that rebate as the price of a deer is much more than 50$.

The “Greenbelt Law”

Many big development companies in America are happy to take advantage of the Florida “Greenbelt Law.”

The “Greenbelt Law”

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The law gives them the ability to develop land for cattle ranchers, along with equipment, man, power, and even cattle. They then rent that land to farmers and enjoy big government tax breaks in return.

Free Living Past 100

The Population in New Mexico is made up of a significant population of retired Americans, and the state chose to extend the gesture of an income tax exemption to anyone who has lived past 100.

Free Living Past 100

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So, it’s an excellent place to move if you retire with a passive income, but it’s not too helpful if your old, not working and not making any money.

Unusual Use of Words

North Carolina has a tax law for heavy appliances. Every time you dispose of a fridge, stove, water heater ext., then you need to pay a three-dollar tax.

Unusual Use of Words

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The tax is not too bad, and I would hope it goes to clean disposal of the appliance, but can they please change the name from the “White Goods Disposal Tax” to something else.

Pay Up or Starve

The State of Oklahoma is a pretty expensive place to live, and the average tax rate for median income is more than 5%.

Pay Up or Starve

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Despite many other states of America picking and choosing what foods they tax, and which foods they leave alone, Oklahoma imposes all groceries in full, and you’ll have to file for credits if you can’t afford the high taxes on food.

Setting Example

Obesity is one of the most common diseases in America today, and for a long time, it was almost a choiceless life for many low-class Americans, who could not afford healthy living.

Setting Example

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The state of Indiana chooses to exclude groceries from sales tax in hopes that it would be cheaper for Americans, to buy healthy and eat healthily.

What’s the Difference?

Ever thought about how much taxes you pay when you stop by the gas station to buy some ice? Neither have I, but if you’re from the state of Arizona, then you may know a thing or two.

What’s the Difference?

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Thing one you are exempt from being taxed on buying ice cubes. Thing two? If you buy yourself a block of ice, you will pay considerable taxes on it. Why? Who knows!

Taxing Celebration

People tend to break out a cigar when they are celebrating things like business deals, childbirths, sports-related success, and vacations. All the things that people with money do.

Taxing Celebration

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So, Georgia decided to jump the gun and pre-empt on Cigar owners. If you like the habit of celebration and plan on buying a cigar’s wholesale, then get ready to pay 23%.

The Binge Tax

Americans love to binge watch TV nowadays. Platforms like Netflix and Hulu give us the opportunity to watch our favorite shows episode after episode with no break in-between.

The Binge Tax

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eBook platforms like Kindle give us never ending libraries of good reads, and audio platforms like Spotify give us the chance to enjoy all our favorite music none stop. The state of Ohio caught wind of this industry’s earning potential, and if you’re thinking of buying a subscription, get ready for a tax.

The State of Gesture

Being an artist is arguably one of the hardest career paths out there, and most artists need a day job just to pay the bills. The state of Nevada wants its artists to thrive and seems to understand the struggle.

The State of Gesture

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If an artist develops original work under contract with a customer, that artist is exempt from sales tax on their art. Fun note, if you file your taxes in Nevada, you get a free deck of cards in the mail!

Green Encouragement

The state of Montana is so far the most expensive state on the list. The tax rate for median income in Montana is more than 6% for the average resident, but you can make that money back.

Green Encouragement

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You just have to do your part in curbing climate change. Anyone in the state who purchases installations of renewable energy for their cars, businesses or homes enjoys a breath of fresh air in the form of a 35% tax rebate.

Blueberries?

Every Thanksgiving season, Americans across the North East partake in the tradition of blueberry picking.

Blueberries?

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Even I remember getting on a tractor and being driven out to the fields to pick as many blueberries as I wanted. And the state of Main wants in on the fun! There is a 1.5 cent tax for every pound of blueberries sold in Maine, but it’s a cheap tax so don’t worry about a price hike there.

To Go Tax

Many taxes can seem like an unfair punishment for something you can’t control, and the Michigan “to-go” tax for sure falls under that category. Since the industrial revolution, Americans are expected more from the economy and given less time to themselves.

To Go Tax

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In many cases your lucky to have a short lunch break, let alone be able to go out and sit somewhere. In the state of Michigan, if you order something to go, there is a tax to your purchase. This is a clear case of more time making you more money, and less time sucking you dry.

Join the Force

Being a serviceman/woman is no easy task. Long hours, average, or low pay, and you have to deal with dangerous situations every day for the good of your community.

Join the Force

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The state of South Dakota loves its citizens in uniform, and if you are a cop, fireman, firefighter, or ambulance employee, then enjoy tax exemption for your hard work. Well deserved!

No Taking Advantage

In the state of Idaho, a part-time resident is comically considered a “snowbird.” Idaho gets even more expensive to live in with a median income tax of seven and a half percent for the average resident, and if you’re a snowbird thing get even worse.

No Taking Advantage

Source: Gettyimages

According to state tax law, any snowbird who makes more than 2,500$ is required to file a tax their taxes in the state regardless of where they currently reside.

Why?

Hot air balloons are a fun way to get the family together and enjoy a sunny day. But if you’re thinking of opening your own hot air balloon ride. Make sure you read the fine print on taxing it.

Why?

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Most hot air balloons that are used as a “ride” so to speak (like the ones in amusement parks) are tethered to the ground with a rope. Well if you choose not to use that rope, then you are exempt from paying a sales tax on the ride, but according to federal law, the rope is required for the safety of passengers. Seems like a no-win situation.

Cultural Tax Law

In the state of Texas being a cowboy to many is a way of life, and it is one of the only places in the world where almost everyone has a wardrobe of cowboy clothes in their closet.

Cultural Tax Law

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For some reason, the state of Texas chose to exempt cowboy boots, hiking boots, and belts from any tax. Yet belt buckles are not exempt?

Never Buy it Sliced in NY

In the state of NY, all processed foods get taxed heavily at almost 9%. Wholesale bagels, on the other hand, are a tax-exempt product.

Never Buy it Sliced in NY

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But if you’re buying bagels for a party and want them sliced for you to save time, think again. Because once they get sliced, they become processed food, and the 9% tax follow suit.

Pick Sweets Wisely

Any candy bar made in the state of Illinois could fall, a victim, when it comes to this odd law. Apparently, in Illinois, a candy bar that has no flower in it is tax exempt.

Pick Sweets Wisely

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So, for instance, if you buy a Twix bar that has no flower, you will pay less for it then you would have, had you purchased a Snickers bar, or M&M’s.

The Flood Scam

Who says that states can’t scam you? Well if anyone ever does say that, then tell them the story of the Pennsylvania “Flood Tax.” After a devastating flood hit the town of Johnstown in 1936, the flood law got introduced to the state in an attempt to clean the flood-ravaged community.

The Flood Scam

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According to the law, any bottle of alcohol sold in Pennsylvania is subject to an insane 18% tax on that bottle. The reason this law is a scam is that we are now more than 70 years in the future and it is still being enforced!

Finding Oil

Getting your hands-on oil is expensive, dangerous, and very hard to do. But if you find oil, you and the country or state around you can become very rich, very fast!

Finding Oil

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That’s why the state of Wyoming decided to exempt the tax on equipment that is damaged or lost in the pre-production stage of oil drilling.

Un Effective but Cheap

In 1820 the state of Missouri decided to pass an annual one-dollar tax law. According to the law, once a year, men between the age of 21 and 50 must pay a dollar to the state.

Un Effective but Cheap

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The reason is odd. Apparently, the law was enacted to encourage men to marry. Does this mean they wanted you to be poor so you would be forced to unionize for survival?

Useless Law

It seems as if maybe Nebraska has been preparing for years for the legalization of cannabis. Apparently, if you are dealing with controlled substances in the state, you must pay a drug tax of 100$ per ounce on controlled substances.

Useless Law

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They have had a hard time enforcing this tax considering controlled substances are illegal in the state. You tell me Nebraska. How do you file this one without going to jail?

Great Place for Public

The state of Delaware has a meager tax rate for corporations at less than 9%. Because of this low tax percentage.

Great Place for Public

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More than half the companies traded in the United States are traded in the state of Delaware. Pretty cool if you’re a rich man huh!

Life Savior

A catheter unit is one of the single most important inventions in human history, and they save many many lives daily in all types of procedures.

Life Savior

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But their control units are very expensive! And in the state of Iowa due to the hefty price of the life-saving machine, so that more hospitals can afford to have them, they are exempt.

Finding Cheap Web Service

Web service in America can get very expensive, and most companies want you to sign much more than just the internet service and like to add cable, and home lines to the mix.

Finding Cheap Web Service

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Don’t fall for it and find yourself a place that sells you cheap internet. At least if you live in Wisconsin where any internet service costing more than 50$ gets you taxed badly.

The Emoji Game

An emoji is the different small caricatures people use when they are texting on their phones or on online platforms.

The Emoji Game

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A well designed and original emoji can make a designer millions of dollars, there for the state of Rhode Island was smart enough to include this design product by name in their personal income tax form.

Oregon

Recreational Cannabis use has been legalized in many states across the US. The State of Oregon, which is the most expensive state on that legal list, has a median income tax of 9%.

Oregon

Photo by Vince Chandler / The Denver Post

But they don’t stop at that. If you’re thinking about opening up your own dispensary, make sure you can make enough money to outweigh their 25% sales tax on the product.

Opposite State

While most states on the list seem to be encouraging environmental green habits through tax incentives, Washington appears to be doing the opposite.

Opposite State

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If you get yourself an electric plug-in car, then be ready to pay an annual registration fee of 100$ to keep the car on the road.

Cracking Down on Health

The state of Vermont is taking their own approach on the American health epidemic, and choosing to treat unhealthy foods like they do cigarettes.

Cracking Down on Health

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One of the leading causes of obesity in America is the consumption of soft drinks. So, to combat the health crisis, any soft drink that contains, preservatives, artificial sweeteners, and even maple syrup will cost you an extra 6% if you’re thinking of consuming one.

Reserved for the First

The State of North Dakota is rich in oil, and for the reason, the average resident pays less than 3% in income tax. Instead, oil companies pay 5% for the gross value of oil distributed from the state.

Reserved for the First

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There is one loophole though. If said oil is being produced by a Native American company, then it Is immediately tax exempt.

Mid-West Tax Laws

In the state of Colorado, there is something called the “nonessential packaging law.” Any item that qualifies as non-essential to a packaged good is taxed 2.9 percent (why didn’t they round up to three I don’t know!)

Mid-West Tax Laws

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This law applies even to coffee cup lids. So, keep that in mind next time you want a cup of joe.

A Lot to See

Boston is a big beautiful city, and there is a lot to see. But Boston is a big city too, and unless you pay for a tour bus of some sort, you are bound to miss stuff.

A Lot to See

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Tourism in Boston can be a bit expensive due to a Massachusetts law that tags a 5% tax on the purchase of tickets for sightseeing in any venue that is both land or water based. So, if you’re not into paying taxes, do some research yourself and try to see how much you can see in a day without a tour bus.

Cashing in on Halloween

The state of NJ is the king state of unreasonable taxing and outrageous taxes. If you’re buying a pumpkin, for the purpose of decorating it, you will be subject to tax.

Cashing in on Halloween

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If you are planning on eating it, then its tax exempt. What are they supposed to take your word for it?

Apocalypse in Bulk

The state of Virginia is always directly hit by northeastern storms during hurricane season, and many houses across the state lose power and get damaged.

Apocalypse in Bulk

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Once a year Virginia holds a tax-free holiday where any supplies considered hurricane preparedness supplies are tax exempt for the price tag of less than 100$. So, don’t buy in bulk!

Sports Tax

In the state of Minnesota, things get really cold very fast, and the winter is extremely long and grueling.

Sports Tax

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To make sure buying cheap warm clothing is accessible to all her citizens, Minnesota exempts all clothing from their tax law to ensure affordability of clothing. Most sporting attire except for uniforms, bowling shirts, and karate uniforms are still taxed.

Dream State

In the state of Alaska, there is no need for a sales tax, and a government sales tax is nonexistent. Alaska does not need a sales tax considering the high petroleum revenues.

Dream State

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This added with the median income in Alaska being almost 70,000$ makes Alaska the ideal state to live in. All you have to do is take a plane to work every day!

This is Just Sick

There are many things most Americans are very much against, and that’s taxation on products intended for women’s menstrual health and baby hygiene.

This is Just Sick

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In the state of Connecticut however, diapers are considered clothing and are taxed in full at 6.35% per purchase! That’s the state making money off of living necessities for babies, and senior citizens. That means that some people who can’t afford them need to be able to re-use them to save money.

High Taxes, Beneficial Claims

The State of Hawaii is also on the upper side when it comes to tax income tax (8.25%.) But that’s not too bad considering that tree upkeep on the property can claim you up to 3,000 dollars back on your taxes in the event that you have trees on the property.

High Taxes, Beneficial Claims

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Meaning homeowners in the state are able to get some of that money back in exchange for taking care of the island.

Property Tax

New Hampshire is a wealthy state, but it does not contain too many jobs and is not up there on the list of large consuming American states. New Hampshire, actually relies greatly on property tax for the majority of its GDP from taxes, and has one of the highest property taxes in the country!

Property Tax

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Despite the price tag and cost of owning, the median income in New Hampshire is more than 73,000 dollars. So, they can afford it, I guess?

Chesapeake Bay

The Chesapeake Bay in Maryland stretching up through Pennsylvania, and Jersey, is one of the dirtiest rivers in America. Which is a shame considering it is one of the most historic rivers in the country as well.

Chesapeake Bay

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Maryland tries its best to combat this pollution with a yearly tax fee of 60$ to anyone who owns a septic system. This money goes towards the “Bay Restoration Fund.” As of now, it is still profoundly ill-advised to swim in the bay.

September Holiday

Gun-Laws are a very divisive subject in American society today. But in America tradition trumps any controversy, and in the state of Louisiana, there is a September tax holiday where residents of the state are able to buy all types of hunting, and self-protection equipment, while enjoying an exemption from the local tax sales on their purchases.

September Holiday

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Getting More Expensive

Better check your bank account three times if you’re thinking of moving to California, as the median tax rate on income in the happy state is more than 9% on a good day!

Getting More Expensive
Source: freshplaza.com

So even if the average Californian is making 60,000 $ a year, they can say goodbye to a portion of it. Taxes in Cali are off the charts, and even buying fruit in a vending machine (yes, they have that there) will set you back 33% in taxes.