Let’s take a break from the usual news, to reflect on some of America’s strangest taxes. 

Arkansas: Body Piercing Tax

The state spells out which services are subject to the 6% state sales tax. Among them: body piercing, gutter cleaning and pet grooming.

California: Deals for Ottoman Empire Victims

If you were persecuted between 1915 and 1923, you get a tax exemption. If your troubles came in 1924 or later, however, there’s no break.

Hawaii: Deductions Grow On Trees

Grab a $3,000 deduction if your tree was approved by an arborist advisory committee and you get the right notarial stamp.

Maryland: Oyster Break

Maybe the clam and mussel people didn’t make sufficient campaign donations? The aquaculture float credit is available for people harvesting oysters, but not other shellfish.

Minnesota: Toke Tax

Before lighting a joint, you’re supposed to pick up a tax stamp: $3.50 per gram. Lots of other states have marijuana taxes, but not a whole lot of money is collected.

New Jersey: Helping Families

You get a break if you spend more than $35.64 on family leave insurance. A $37 outlay on this worthy cause, for example, would land you $1.36.

New Mexico: If you Are Old and Dependent…

…you don’t do well here. The tax exemption for those 100 and older is explicitly denied to people who can be claimed as dependents.

New York: Haunted House Tax

Musical comedies, operas and chamber music are exempt from the sales tax. But not a Halloween show with music, if the admission charge exceeds 10 cents.

Oregon: Single Amputees Need Not Apply

Some legislator wanted to help the disabled. What a guy! The resulting statute gives a $50 credit to double amputees.

Seattle: Death Tax

If you die in Seattle, you owe the city $50. And if you don’t pay, something bad could happen to you.

South Carolina: Aid for Deceased Deer

You get $50 off your taxes if your deer carcass helps the needy.

U.S.: A Special Deal for Employees

The IRS gives you a break on employee expenses, and here’s the simple version of the form, 2106-EZ. The catch: You have to figure out the instructions, which include this Orwellian line: “An expense does not have to be required to be considered necessary.”

U.S.: Take That, Sewer Pipe Lobbyists!

People mining sagger clay (used in pottery) get the same generous 14% federal depletion allowance accorded to people extracting clam shells, oyster shells and spodumene (never mind what that is). But if your clay shows up in sewer pipes, then you get only 7-1/2%.

Utah: Prudes versus Nudes

This state levies a 10% excise on establishments using exotic dancers.

Source: Forbes.com http://blogs.forbes.com/baldwin/2011/02/08/americas-silliest-taxes/?partner=yahoo