In one of the most blatant "squeeze the peasants" move by a state bureaucracy that I have ever seen, the Iowa Department of Revenue has decided to begin charging sales tax on pumpkins. Until September, the orange squash was considered – well – a squash – and was exempt from sales tax as a food item. Enter the bureaucrats:
DES MOINES, Iowa – The Iowa Department of Revenue is taxing jack-o'-lanterns this Halloween. The new department policy was implemented after officials decided that pumpkins are used primarily for Halloween decorations, not food, and should be taxed, said Renee Mulvey, the department's spokeswoman.
"We made the change because we wanted the sales tax law to match what we thought the predominant use was," Mulvey said. "We thought the predominant use was for decorations or jack-o'-lanterns."
Previously, pumpkins had been considered an edible squash and exempted from the tax. The department ruled this year that pumpkins are taxable — with some exceptions — if they are advertised for use as jack-'o-lanterns or decorations.
Iowans planning to eat pumpkins can still get a tax exemption if they fill out a form.
How nice. I'm sure this will be a revenue bonanza for the government of Iowa, well worth the damage to the gazillions of pumpkin growers and sellers in the state. Why, I'll bet they'll raise enough money to fully fund a pumpkin enforcement officer or two to keep the flood of money coursing into the state coffers. Which will lead to the hiring of more pumpkin enforcement officers. Soon they will have a fully staffed pumpkin enforcement division, complete with bright orange uniforms with jackboots.
You have got to be kidding me. Lord, I wish they were.