Weird Tax Laws In Each Of The 50 States by Ben Taylor, Credito

With tax season comes a parade of obscure tax laws — some complicated, others just plain bizarre. The tax code covers almost any person, scenario or object you can imagine. Take bows and arrows, for example. By decree of Uncle Sam, bow manufacturers must pay an 11 percent tax on any bow with a “peak draw weight of 30 pounds or more.” And if the arrow shafts are longer than 18 inches? That’s an additional fee. It’s all part of a a federal tax code detailed in about 2,700 pages of statutes.

Put the federal tax rules next to state rules, however, and suddenly the national regulations become sane and sensible.

The team at Credio, a personal finance data site covering investment advisors, consumers banks and more, set out to find the weirdest, strangest tax law in each state, with an emphasis on the surprising numbers behind the laws. In one state, for example, people over 100 years old are exempt from income taxes. In another, bachelors between 21 and 50 must pay $1 per year.

Weird Tax Laws In Each Of The 50 States

The Credio team also ordered the list from lowest to highest median income, and noted each state’s tax rate at that level of income.

With that said, here are the weirdest tax laws in each state.

#50. Mississippi

Median Income: $35,521
Tax Rate for Median Income: 4.00%

Retail sales of livestock are exempt from the state sales tax.

#49. West Virginia

Median Income: $39,552
Tax Rate for Median Income: 4.50%

West Virginia requires stores that sell sparklers and party poppers to pay $15 for a “Certificate to Sell Sparklers and Novelties.”

#48. Alabama

Median Income: $42,278
Tax Rate for Median Income: 5.00%

Residents still pay a Confederate veterans tax, despite the fact that all Civil War veterans are long dead. Today, the tax supports the Confederate Memorial Park.

#47. Louisiana

Median Income: $42,406
Tax Rate for Median Income: 4.00%

Every September, Louisiana enjoys a Second Amendment sales tax holiday. Hunting supplies, ammunition and firearms are all exempt from state and local sales taxes.

#46. Kentucky

Median Income: $42,786
Tax Rate for Median Income: 5.80%

Kentucky requires a 6 percent sales tax on thoroughbred stud fees. The state spreads the proceeds across multiple funds used to incentivize horse breeding operations.

#45. Tennessee

Median Income: $43,716
Tax Rate for Median Income: 6.00%

Feed for livestock is exempt from the state’s 7 percent sales tax.

#44. Arkansas

Median Income: $44,922
Tax Rate for Median Income: 7.00%

Arkansas charges a 6 percent tax on any body piercings, tattoos, or electrolysis.

#43. South Carolina

Median Income: $44,929
Tax Rate for Median Income: 7.00%

Any meat packer or butcher in the state can get a $50 rebate by donating a deer carcass to a charity, which will be used to feed the hungry.

#42. Florida

Median Income: $46,140
Tax Rate for Median Income: 0.00%

Many developers take advantage of Florida’s “greenbelt law” by temporarily leasing land being developed to cattle ranchers. They will then receive “agricultural use” tax breaks in a tax strategy that’s come to be known as “rent-a-cow.”

#41. New Mexico

Median Income: $46,686
Tax Rate for Median Income: 4.90%

Due to the fact that many retirees choose to settle down there, New Mexico exempts the income of persons at least 100 years old from income tax.

#40. North Carolina

Median Income: $46,784
Tax Rate for Median Income: 5.75%

A “white goods disposal tax” of $3.00 is collected for the disposal of certain appliances, which includes refrigerators, stoves and water heaters.

#39. Oklahoma

Median Income: $47,199
Tax Rate for Median Income: 5.25%

Unlike many states, Oklahoma taxes groceries in full. That said, the state offers credits to offset food taxes for some of the population.

#38. Indiana

Median Income: $48,060
Tax Rate for Median Income: 3.30%

Groceries are generally excluded from sales tax and defined as “food that is only cut, repackaged or pasteurized by the seller” such as eggs, fish, meat and poultry that require cooking before consumption.

#37. Arizona

Median Income: $49,254
Tax Rate for Median Income: 3.36%

Ice cubes are exempt from sales tax because they are used in mixed drinks. Blocks of ice, however, are taxable.

#36. Georgia

Median Income: $49,555
Tax Rate for Median Income: 6.00%

Georgia places a 23 percent tax on the wholesale price of cigars.

#35. Ohio

Median Income: $49,644
Tax Rate for Median Income: 3.70%

Audiovisual products (such as movies), audio products (such as songs), and books delivered electronically will now be taxed. This includes services like Netflix and Hulu, as well as Kindle ebooks.

#34. Nevada

Median Income: $49,875
Tax Rate for Median Income: 0.00%

If an artist develops original art for a customer under a contract, sales tax does not apply. The transaction counts as a “professional service.” The state also gives out a deck of cards for free to anyone who files a tax return.

#33. Montana

Median Income: $51,102
Tax Rate for Median Income: 6.90%

Residents can receive a 35 percent rebate on renewable energy installation in the form of tax credits.

#32. Maine

Median Income: $51,710
Tax Rate for Median Income: 7.95%

Maine charges a “Blueberry Tax” of 1.5 cents per pound of wild blueberries. This additional cost is usually passed on to consumers.

#31. Michigan

Median Income: $52,005
Tax Rate for Median Income: 4.25%

Michigan charges sales tax on prepackaged food items sold at “to-go” restaurants.

#30. South Dakota

Median Income: $53,053
Tax Rate for Median Income: 0.00%

All sales of products and services to city or volunteer fire and ambulance departments are exempt from sales taxes.

#29. Idaho

Median Income: $53,438
Tax Rate for Median Income: 7.40%

A part-time resident (such as a “snowbird“) must file a tax return with Idaho if their gross income while a resident is more than $2,500.

#28. Kansas

Median Income: $53,444
Tax Rate for Median Income: 4.60%

The state doesn’t

1, 23  - View Full Page