The Weirdest Sales Tax Rules

You already know that taxes are crazy and we believe sales tax is the craziest of crazies with complex rules and regulations our behind-the-scenes otters are always chasing down. These are our favorite rules to remember…


Anyway you slice it

Get a bagel in NY sliced…add 8.875% to the bill. Slicing bagels, along with other prep like cream cheese or lox, means it’s ready to eat and therefore taxed as such.


Fruit on demand

In California, if you’re craving something healthier from the vending machine, you’re going to pay 33% more for it. Fruit purchased in vending machines has an added tax that chips and candies do not.


Your body, their dough

In Arkansas, tattoos, piercings, and electrolysis has an extra 6% fee for body alterations



Blueberry blues

Almost all wild blueberries come from Maine, but you can’t buy them cheaper there. There’s an extra 1.5 cent tax per pound added that benefits the industry, because it’s such big business there.


Flour power

In Illinois, candy with flour added, like a Twix, is considered regular food. Candy without flour (Kisses, anyone?) is charged an extra 5% tax.



Buckle up, cowboy

Belt buckles, a sizeable staple for your giddy up uniform, are subject to extra taxation when purchased in Texas.


Over the top

In Colorado, lids aren’t considered essential packaging and are therefore charged an additional 2.9% more. Also the safety sleeve. And toothpicks.


Unblock me

Ice cubes and blocks of ice are taxed differently in Arizona, with ice cubes considered untaxed food used in drinks. Blocks of ice are taxed since they are used for…whatever you use blocks of ice for.


Happy horses

There’s a 6% sales tax on thoroughbred breeding fees in the home of the derby, Kentucky. Revenues from this fund are plowed into horse breeder incentive funds, and can top $15 million when business is booming.

Put a wig on it

Ohio taxes human hair (and animal parts) used for transplantation and implantation. Note: No animals were harmed in the writing of this article. That would be otterly atrocious.



No matter how weird your sales taxes get, we'll be here.

Can you handle weird sales tax? OYA you can!

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