The latest outrage to be inflicted by a local or state government on its long-suffering citizens has been perpetrated on the people of New York State. New York has slapped an eight-cent tax on every “sliced or prepared bagel” consumed where it is purchased.
A whole bagel is not subject to a tax if it is eaten at home. But produce a knife, cut the bagel in half, and smear it with cream cheese and try to eat it at the place of purchase, and suddenly the tax man comes forth with his hand out demanding that the government of New York State get to wet its beak.
Reason Magazine describes how Bruegger’s Bagels in Albany has been obliged to post a sign as to why the eating establishment is compelled to exact an eight-cent tax for every sliced bagel.
What happens if a patron brings his or her own knife and slices the bagel on his or her own? Whole bagels are also subject to a tax if eaten on the premises.
The sliced bagel tax in New York, for those living in other parts of the country, is sort of like imposing a tax on barbeque ribs if sauce is added, charging a tax for pizza with toppings or a Chinese food tax if soy sauce is included. The whole thing smacks of petty, nickel-and-diming people who have the misfortune to live in a state that cannot live within its means.
The sliced bagel tax is just the latest in a series of insults to the American people. First there was the city of Portland, Oregon, shutting down a kid’s lemonade stand for not having bought the proper license. Then there was the news that Philadelphia wants to impose a business license fee and other taxes on bloggers, even if the blogs are never actually profitable.
It is bad enough that Americans are being placed on a slow boil by the federal government for its ineptitude. One would have expected that a state or local government, by the fact it is closer to the people it governs, would be more empathetic to those very same people.
Americans are organizing into Tea Parties and are busily plotting to take back their federal government. But now it looks like people in certain states and cities are going to have to do the same to their local and state governments as well.
It would be far better if the political class actually had a concern for the rest of us. But apparently they are all in need of a lesson.
Sliced Bagel Tax Angers New Yorkers, Katherine Mangu-Ward, Reason, August 24h, 2010
Portland Authorities Shut Down Julie Murphy’s (Age 7) Lemonade Stand, Mark R. Whittington, Associated Content, August 6th, 2010
Philadelphia Charging Bloggers $300 ‘Business Privilege License’, Mark R. Whittington, Associated Content, August 23rd, 2010