(Image courtesy of The Pitch)
I learned this week that in New York, whole bagels are not taxed, but sliced ones are. My immediate response was befuddlement. I think my eyebrows raised as well, and I'm sure my mouth was slightly agape. This tends to be my physical reaction to news such as this.
The Wall Street Journal ( you can see the full article here) brought this to my attention. They report:
State tax officials, under orders from cash-strapped Albany to ramp up their audit and compliance efforts, have begun to enforce one of the more obscure distinctions within the state's sales tax law.Let me point out something before I go on - I'm actually a fan of ordering a bagel and requesting that it not be toasted or sliced. I do this because I absolutely loathe the gargantuan amounts of cream cheese that is inevitably spread on said bagel. It's almost as if I ordered a carton of cream cheese with a side of bagel. Am I wrong?
In New York, the sale of whole bagels isn't subject to sales tax. But the tax does apply to "sliced or prepared bagels (with cream cheese or other toppings)," according to the state Department of Taxation and Finance. And if the bagel is eaten in the store, even if it's never been touched by a knife, it's also taxed.
However, my inability to understand ridiculous laws such as taxing bagels simply because they are "sliced or prepared" has prompted me to write this post. This is right up there with the Oklahoma law that states whaling is illegal. Whaling in Oklahoma? Okay?
Oklahoma does have one weird law I can get behind: Oklahoma will not tolerate anyone taking a bite out of another's hamburger.