This morning, before I leave tomorrow to return to Leipzig, I paid my quarterly estimated taxes to the feds and to New York State (sound of prolonged moaning goes here). But a question -- is it just me, or are taxes getting weirder?
New York State's governor has proposed an "obesity tax." This doesn't tax overweight people directly (at least not yet), but it does add a 17% tax on sugary drinks that are less than 70% fruit juice. Diet sodas are exempt. The thinking here is that such a tax will both raise money for the state (an estimated $400 million dollars a year) AND improve residents' health.
I can see a new bootlegging operation taking place: "Psst! Want some Pepsi from Pennsylvania?" New York already has tremendous problems with illegal cigarette sales from tribal lands to non-Native Americans. The last time the government tried to mess with tribal tax exemptions, Indians shut down I-90, New York's main east-west thoroughfare, which runs through tribal lands.
I'm waiting for the reaction to the obesity tax -- plus whatever comes next. Henry VIII had a tax on the number of windows in a house. I may paint mine over with Pepsi.