Can I get my taxes (and bagel) to go?

If you’ve read much of this blog, you know how I feel about our overcomplicated taxation system in this, The Empire (of taxes) State.  Let me add another example to the mix: bagels.

Bagels and.... tax?

I came across a story by CBS 6 Albany discussing some of the more unusual taxes we pay.  Turns out, if you go to your favorite little breakfast spot and order your bagels unsliced and “to go” you aren’t taxed. However, once that knife blade severs the bagel into two yummy pieces, you better figure on adding the tax with the lox.  You see, it becomes a “prepared” food item, thus taxable.  Same thing happens if you grab your morning calories in the dining room rather than getting it “to go.”

CBS 6’s story quoted the Department of Taxation and Finance (DTF) spokeswoman Susan Burns:

Burns told CBS 6 that New York is stepping-up enforcement of the 45 year-old sales tax law because DTF now has a bigger staff, better technology, and more access to third-party information.

What in the name of cream cheese is “third-party information?”  Geez, now Big Brother is watching us munch our breakfast sandwiches.  And I don’t buy Burns’ comment for a second.  She did not answer why enforcement is being stepped up.  She answered how it is.  My opinion: DTF is stepping up their enforcement because of New York’s budget crisis.

Cut (slice?) me a break!   It’s time to simplify the tax code.  It’s time to reduce taxes.

I’ll get my unsliced bagel to go please.  Hold the tax.

Leave a comment


  1. Amy

     /  August 25, 2010

    In the grocery store if you buy a hot rotissiere chicken you will be taxed. If you buy it cold, no tax. I’ve been warming my chickens at home! Ridiculous!

  2. springtimesoul

     /  August 27, 2010

    The bagel slicer will be unemployed. But maybe there will be an upsurge in the sale of bagel-slicing knives.

    • Hmmm… how do I invest in those?

      Interesting note, I was discussing this with my wonderful wife, and we both wondered why the pre-sliced bagels we buy in the grocery store aren’t taxed. At least we don’t think they are. (They’re actually the bagels that I used to create the photo for the blog post.)


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