Old Ben Franklin was quite prolific with his quotes, and if you survived Tax Day yesterday then you are all too familiar with this one: "...nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.”
I'm not an accountant, nor do I play one on TV. And I don't think I've ever stayed at a Holiday Inn Express. So I'm not going to pretend to be an expert on taxes. But sharing fun facts that can make you the star of your next cocktail party? This I can do.
Did you know that France's salt tax was so offensive that it was a contributing factor to the French Revolution? Britain's salt tax gained worldwide attention when Gandhi staged nonviolent protests against it.
Roman emperor Vaspasian once placed a tax on urine. And the state of Maryland charges a sewage or "flush tax," of $2.50 a month. In an effort to combat Global Warming, several EU nations have begun taxing cattle owners on cow flatulence, which is responsible for approximately 18% of greenhouse gases.
Colorado places a tax on non-essential food utensils. New York taxes sliced bagels twice - once because they're a prepared food and again if they're sliced.
Alabama stacks on a 10 cent tax for all 54-or-less-card decks of playing cards sold. While Nevada, on the other hand, dishes out a free deck for each tax return filed.
On the flip side of paying taxes, thanks to Georgia's film tax credit (for which our client Michael Coles wrote the legislation that changed the industry), the state continues to set record numbers for film and TV: 455 productions, $2.7 billion in direct spending and about $800 million in tax credits last year alone, which exceeds any state in the country, ahead of New York ($420 million) and California ($320 million.)