Saturday, August 11, 2007

Smells Like Massachusetts

It's the annual tax-free weekend here in my home state of Taxachusetts Massachusetts. As usual, it comes at a time when I haven't got any money to take advantage of making large purchases and saving oodles of money on the sales tax.

A friend of mine and I were grocery shopping yesterday and discussing the bad timing of the weekend as we are both broke.

"What am I gonna save any money on?" she complained.

"Well, you could buy your laundry detergent tax-free tomorrow, that's gonna save you at least ten cents", I replied.

I thought about what I had bought that might have been cheaper had I waited a day. The only non-food items I got were toilet paper and paper towels.

"They don't charge tax on toilet paper do they?" I asked.

"Well, you don't eat it or wear it", she answered. "So, it's taxed."

I checked my receipt and sure enough, she was right. There was this big "T" for tax next to the toilet paper. How low-down desperate are they for tax revenue that they tax you for - excuse my frank language - wiping your behind?

I always thought they excluded the most necessary items from the sales tax, like food and clothes, and only taxed convenience items. At a grocery store you pay tax only on cleaning supplies, etc. But toilet paper? Excuse me, but I don't consider toilet paper a convenience, I consider it a necessary item.

After an exhaustive search of the tax code (trust me, tax codes are exhausting things to read) I found many items that I not only think should not be taxed but ought to be mandated by law, such as deodorants and antiperspirants.

Maybe we should all revolt by boycotting toilet paper and deodorant until the state stinks so bad that lawmakers have to relent and remove the sales tax from these items. But even the most dedicated radical might wilt at the idea of marching in protest with hundreds of others who have nothing but nature's scent under their armpits and have neglected the hygiene of their nether regions. And when they slip over the border to tax-free New Hampshire to purchase these items, local residents will be alerted to their approach.

"Put on your gas masks guys, smells like Massachusetts out there."

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