With tax season comes a parade of obscure tax laws — some complicated, others just plain bizarre. The tax code covers almost any person, scenario or object you can imagine. Take bows and arrows, for example. By decree of Uncle Sam, bow manufacturers must pay an 11 percent tax on any bow with a “peak draw weight of 30 pounds or more.” And if the arrow shafts are longer than 18 inches? That’s an additional fee. It’s all part of a a federal tax code detailed in about 2,700 pages of statutes.
Put the federal tax rules next to state rules, however, and suddenly the national regulations become sane and sensible.
The team at Credio, a personal finance data site covering investment advisors, consumers banks and more, set out to find the weirdest, strangest tax law in each state, with an emphasis on the surprising numbers behind the laws. In one state, for example, people over 100 years old are exempt from income taxes. In another, bachelors between 21 and 50 must pay $1 per year.
The Credio team also ordered the list from lowest to highest median income, and noted each state’s tax rate at that level of income.
With that said, here are the weirdest tax laws in each state.
Median Income: $63,151
Tax Rate for Median Income: 5.15%
Boston requires a 5 percent tax on the purchase of tickets for “any water or land based sightseeing tourist venue” operating in Boston.
Median Income: $63,383
Tax Rate for Median Income: 5.00%
Since 2004, Utah has charged a 10 percent tax on escort services and strip clubs.
Median Income: $65,243
Tax Rate for Median Income: 5.53%
Pumpkins sold as decorations are subject to sales tax. If a customer actually plans to consume the pumpkin, however, the sale is tax-free.
Median Income: $66,155
Tax Rate for Median Income: 6.27%
During Virginia’s Tax Free Holiday Week, fur coats, hurricane preparedness supplies and insole inserts for shoes are exempt from sales tax if they cost less than $100.
Median Income: $67,244
Tax Rate for Median Income: 7.05%
Clothing is exempt from Minnesota’s sales tax, except for fur and sports clothing. That said, snowmobile attire, karate uniforms, and bowling shirts and shoes are nontaxable.
Median Income: $67,629
Tax Rate for Median Income: 0.00%
Alaska is the only state that does not collect state sales tax or levy an individual income tax. To finance state operations, Alaska depends primarily on petroleum revenues. (Individual localities are still allowed to charge their own sales taxes.)
Median Income: $70,161
Tax Rate for Median Income: 5.50%
Children’s disposable and reusable diapers are considered clothing and, as a result, are subject to a 6.35 percent sales tax.
Median Income: $71,223
Tax Rate for Median Income: 8.25%
Hawaii residents can claim up to $3,000 in personal income tax deductions for expenses related to maintaining “exceptional” trees on private property.
Median Income: $73,397
Tax Rate for Median Income: 5.00%
New Hampshire’s 5 percent flat rate income tax only applies to interest and dividend income. The state relies heavily on property taxes for the majority of its income, and it has one of the highest property taxes in the country.
Median Income: $76,165
Tax Rate for Median Income: 4.75%
Homeowners using a septic system in Maryland pay a fee of $60 a year. The money is put towards the Bay Restoration Fund to reduce pollution in the Chesapeake Bay.
See the other 40 facts on Credio
Ben is the Senior Managing Editor at Graphiq. He writes about tech, companies and health by day, then moonlights as a film critic. When he's not geeking out over data visualizations, you can find him sampling craft bourbon, watching Pixar shorts and complaining about fake national holidays.