As states across America take a look at their budgets, some are getting creative with sales taxes in an effort to increase their revenue by slapping a tax on some interesting items and services. CNNMoney checked out what’s going down all over America, from magician taxes to hot air balloon ride tariffs.
Tax off the top: In Michigan and Nebraska, legislators are considering extending the state sales tax to person grooming services like getting a trim, because they can be seen as a luxury item.
Krusty the Clown tax: Maine wants to make money off of children! A bill proposing a 5% state tax on entertainment like comedians, clowns, jugglers, ventriloquists, petting zoos, paintball and even haunted hay rides is up to be voted on this summer, and would go into effect in January 2011.
Balloon Boy tax: Hot air balloon rides don’t come cheap, and in Kentucky they could be even pricier: Lawmakers there want to get their hands on $350 to $400 million a year by taxing high-end services like limousine such as limousine and hot air balloon rides, golf green fees, private landscaping, armored car services and professional laundry services. Because these are things rich people use, so, tax’em!
Fluffy’s mani/pedi fee: Pet grooming and horse training are on the list for levies in Michigan, along with a slew of other random things — plumbing, fur storage, beauty parlors, funeral services, diaper services, massages, bowling, coin-operated video games, meat slaughtering, movie tickets, zoos and pest control. To name a few.
Downward facing dog tariff: In Missouri it might get more expensive to get your yoga on. The state is going to re-enforce their already existing tax on that practice, since it is a recreational service and thus is taxed along with athletic events and gym memberships.
Matchmaker matchmaker make me a tax: Nebraska wants to tax 60 dating services not already subject to their sales tax, to raise $44 billion by 2011. Cathy must be up in arms! Argh! Also on the list for taxation in Nebraska? Scooter and motorcycle repairs, shoe shines, reflexology, massages, tree trimming, taxidermy, fur storage, detective services, garment alterations, dance studios, armored car services, and gun and camera repair.
Continental breakfast not so free: Tennessee’s General Assembly is going after complimentary meals at hotels as part of its “sale for resale” initiative, which taxes items included as part of a service.
Al Gore’s a fan of this one: West Virginia wants to put a 5-cent tax on plastic shopping bags to raise funds and help the environment. I can get down with that.
Milwaukee makes not-so-sweet music: The Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra is already under the thumb of Wisconsin’s sales tax, but they’re now fighting a tax on performance admission. They argue that instead of an entertainment event, their concerts should be considered educational or charitable, and therefore shouldn’t be taxed.
Wyoming wind bringing in the bucks: The state wants to tax wind farmers with a tariff on wind energy production. Wyoming has approved a $1 per megawatt hour tax on wind-generated electricity that will go into effect in 2012 for turbines that have produced electricity for at least three years.
What’ll they tax next? [CNN]