America's Most Bizarre Taxes

1) Candy Tax
In 2009, Illinois issued a tax on candy sales. But what does it define as being “candy?” Candy that’s prepared with flour is considered “food” and taxed at 1% (Kit Kat, Whoppers, Twizzlers). Candy that is not prepared with flour (Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, Tootsie Rolls, Blow Pops) is considered “candy” and taxed at 6.25%.

2) Jock Tax
In 1991, following the LA Lakers’ loss to the Chicago Bulls in the NBA finals, California issued the first ever tax against athletes from Chicago for the three games they played in Los Angeles. Now adopted by 40 of the 50 states, athletes must pay taxes to any states where the athletes earned income on games played in those states. For the 2006-2007 sports year, California pulled in a whopping $102 million from visiting athletes.

3) Crack Tax
In 2005, Tennessee passed a law requiring drug dealers to pay a tax on illegal substances. $3.50 per gram of marijuana, $50 per gram of cocaine, and $250 per gram of meth and crack cocaine. Before the tax was banned in 2009, the state had collected $10.3 million in revenue.

4) Flush Tax
In an attempt to protect the Chesapeake Bay, the state of Maryland began taxing residents and businesses that generate wastewater. $2.50 per month to flush the toilet.

5) Vending Machine Fruit Tax
Fresh fruit is exempt from sales tax in California… unless it’s purchased from a vending machine. Then it’s taxed at 33% of the price.

6) Bagel Tax
A bagel that has been sliced or prepared with a topping like cream cheese is subject to an 8¢ tax in New York.