Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Live Long to Pay Taxes

The Maryland Legislature is back in session plotting to increase taxes on a multitude of items and services. I have heard that Baltimore City wants to increase the bottle tax by an additional nickel per bottle. Last year, Maryland, in response to special interest groups, increased the sales tax on alcohol, to include wine, to a whopping 9 percent. This year they want to increase the gas tax by 15 cents per gallon--making our gas tax the highest in the nation.

Where does it end?

In the toilet, literally--Maryland is also considering tripling the flush tax--yup, we get taxed on flushing our toilets, to $90 per year. We already pay incredible sewage costs on water we use in the garden. And then there is the ever popular Chesapeake Bay tax already on our water bill.

One of the most interesting taxes I have ever heard of was the $1 per bullet tax on all bullets purchased in the City of Baltimore in a effort to reduce crime. Do criminals really go through the purchase documentation requirements to buy bullets for their stolen gun? I wonder who will really be paying that tax?

As I researched some taxes for this blog, I ran across this really interesting tax on Billshrink. Perhaps the most puzzling tax in the entire world is the state of Tennessee’s tax on the possession of illegal drugs. According to CNN, “you have 48 hours to report to the Department of Revenue and pay your tax” on any illegal substance you purchase in Tennessee, after which you will get “stamps to affix to your illegal substance” which “serve as evidence you paid the tax on the illegal product.” There are some other interesting taxes in that article if you are interested.

So I was at the gym last evening, joking with the guys that we were all working out and playing racquetball so that we could be healthy and live longer. And that by doing so, we could pay more taxes.

That was a sobering thought. There is the old adage about the only things in life that are a certain are death and taxes. But at least death only happens once. Taxes keep increasing so we can continue to enjoy paying them.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

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