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A Taxing Situation
Tuesday, October 3, 2006

A couple of months ago, the State of New Jersey decided its taxes just weren’t high enough. In order to correct this situation, the state introduced a new 7 percent sales tax, which was recently extended to a number of previously untaxed goods and services, such as: tanning; tattooing; landscaping; self-storage; and music downloads.

As if these new fees weren’t already reason enough to be outraged, Garden State legislators have secretly approved a number of other new taxes, set to begin within the coming months. If you disagree with any of these taxes, you are urged to either contact your legislators or sit back and do absolutely nothing.

Now here’s a quick look at what they will tax:

1. Skeeball Winnings: Yes, unbeknownst to innocent skeeball players, a new hidden fee awaits their return to Point Pleasant and other boardwalks next summer. Just paying for the privilege of tanning on New Jersey beaches wasn’t enough for the State of New Jersey. Now, when skeeball players earn tickets at any of the state’s roughly 9,671 skeeball arcades, they’ll have to surrender a full 7 out of every 100 tickets to state police. While this tax may seem like small potatoes to all those elitists in Trenton, this is only because those elitists are elitists and therefore already have all the potatoes they could ever desire. For the ordinary man, the new skeeball tax means the difference between a handful of spider rings and a pair of really hilarious sunglasses.

2. Unplanned Homosexual Encounters at Highway Rest Stops: Call it the James McGreevey Memorial Luxury Vice Tax. In the coming months, New Jersey citizens will once again pay for the sins of their leaders as the state begins taxing chance gay encounters at Joyce Kilmer and other Turnpike rest areas. What kind of country are we living in when a grown man with a wife and two kids can’t pull over, pay for overpriced gas, and tear the shirt off another grown man in a public bathroom… without getting charged for it? Isn’t this supposed to be America? What’s next? The Red Sox winning the World Series? Paying a dollar for a single pack of gum?

3. The Sales Tax: That’s right. You read that correctly. For the first time in American history, the State of New Jersey will soon introduce a sales tax on its very own sales tax. Now, when you purchase a taxable item, you will pay not only 7 percent of the price but an additional 7 percent of the 7 percent. New Jersey legislators are also discussing a possible sales tax on the sales tax on the sales tax, which, theoretically speaking, means New Jerseyans may soon pay the price of an item plus 7 percent plus 7 percent of the 7 percent plus 7 percent of the 7 percent of the 7 percent. Unfortunate as they may be, these new tax hikes will be necessary in order to pay legislators for doing their job.

4. Coming from the State of New Jersey: Beginning next spring, the Garden State will introduce a new tax on previous residents, forcing former New Jerseyans such as myself to pay the equivalent of 7 billable hours for every 100 spent living outside the state’s borders. This particular increase is designed to discourage New Jersey residents from leaving New Jersey, which, in a roundabout way, probably makes it pro-business.

5. Complaining: After imposing each of the four taxes listed above, the State of New Jersey will finally impose a new tax on complaining about those four taxes. The bad news is, it’s yet another tax. But the good news is, you can pay it in food stamps.

Jonathan David Morris is the author of Versus Nurture. Like him on Facebook at facebook.com/readjdm.

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