Bailey Scarano Blog

Weird Tax Laws Across the US

While you may be surprised by this, every state had its own set of unique laws regarding what is taxed and what is not. Of course, some things are pretty consistent, but some are downright weird. Here are a few of the more interesting items that are taxes across the country. 

Missouri: Bachelor Tax

Unmarried men between the ages of 21 and 50 are taxed an extra $1 per year. The law originated in 1820 and has never come off the books and was meant to encourage marriage. 

South Carolina: Deer Carcass Deduction

Licensed meat processors can receive a $50 tax deduction if they donate a processed deer carcass to charity. 

South Carolina 2: Marriage Counseling Tax Credit

What’s better than a tax deduction? A tax credit, of course. In the Palmetto State, couples who get at least six hours of qualified pre-marriage counseling qualify for a $50 tax credit on their first joint return.  

Hawaii: Exceptional Tree Care Deduction

Hawaiians can deduct up to $3000 for expenses incurred maintaining an “exceptional tree.” Not all horticultural efforts qualify, but if your tree (or grove) has “historic or cultural value, or which by reason of its age, rarity, location, size, esthetic quality or endemic status has been designated by the county committee as worthy of preservation” you can take advantage of the deduction. 

Vermont: Auction Exemption

If an auctioneer performs the auction at the home or business of the property owner, the proceeds from the auction are exempt. But if the auction takes place elsewhere, or if all the property isn’t that of a single owner, then the proceeds are subject to sales tax.  

Maine: Offloading Boats Exemption

If a Maine resident sells a boat to someone from another state, and the boat is moved out of Maine in less than 30 days, the sale is exempt from state sales tax. It makes you wonder why they want to get rid of boats so badly.

Kansas: Hot Air Balloon Tax

Here’s an odd one. In Kansas, if a hot air balloon is tethered to the ground, it is subject to sales taxes applied to “places of amusement, entertainment or recreation services.” However, if it leaves the ground and travels “some distance downwind from the launching point” it is not subject to that tax because state and local jurisdictions can’t impose fees on airlines. And since a hot air balloon in motion is carrying passengers in air commerce, it qualifies. 

It just goes to show that keeping up with tax laws is a full time job!