Posted by: bridget | 1 November 2007

Happy Halloween, and That’s 5% for Tax, Please

Iowa has brought Scrooge to Halloween.  Before, pumpkins (an edible foodstuff*) were not taxed.  Now, the tax man has decided that the state just needs to get 5% of the sale of every jack-o-lantern, which are, after all, used for entertainment/decoration and not for food.  A person who purchases a pumpkin must fill out a form for sales tax redemption, if he chooses to actually eat the pumpkin instead of carving it first.

This raises some interesting questions.  Do you pay sales tax if you buy the pumpkin for the seeds only?  Would you have to pay if you ate the seeds put also carved up the pumpkin?  Can you use a pumpkin for decoration and later make it into pumpkin pie?  What if the pie burns in the oven and the whole enterprise is a disaster?  Should people have to pay tax on food if they manage to make it look pretty before throwing it out? 

Can you uset he new taxes to threaten your kids if they won’t finish their dinner?  “Kids, if you don’t eat your squash, Mommy and Daddy have to pay sales tax on it.  That’s coming out of your allowance.”

If a bartender uses lime rinds to make cute curliques to decorate martini glasses, must the bar pay sales tax on the limes?  What about those little silver balls that are put on Christmas cookies but are inedible?  No one really ever eats the little parsley sprigs put on their plates in restaurants; will there be a line item charge for those?

Inquiring minds want to know!

*Unlike Cheez Whiz, which is an inedible foodstuff



  1. Does the Mafia know about this ? Black Market pumpkins is it profitable ?

  2. It is not hard to see why so many people do not respect the law. We have so many laws not worthy of respect.

    If they try to enforce this law at all,I would think the enforcement cost would quickly exceed the revenue. I suppose the will use the same terror tactics they use to enfore the income tax laws.

  3. I suppose its too late to run a hot load of pumpkins into Iowa this year.
    By next year I can have my truck souped up and become a real pumpkin runner, look out all you revenuers (I don’t know how to spell that).

  4. “A person who purchases a pumpkin must fill out a form for sales tax redemption, if he chooses to actually eat the pumpkin instead of carving it first.”

    I just laughed so hard I ALMOST pooped myself. Hilarious! And scary.

  5. (Laughing) SST, I can picture you running over the border with a load of hot pumpkins, with the cops on your tail.

  6. I have been having some second thoughts though. Maybe the energy efficient hydrid driven by my side-kick won’t work as well as that old Trans-Am in “Smokey and the Bandit”.

  7. Nice Posts!!!
    Keep Writing!!!

  8. Just question and question and question!!!
    No answer at all!!!
    So tell me if you have paid a tax for your own pumpkin yet???

  9. I have come up with an enforcement plan for Iowa’s pumpkin tax.

    They can enact a $500 fine for untaxed pumpkins and a $250 reward for reporting them. While the kids are going around on Halloween they can just ask to see receipts for any pumpkins they see. There are always extra patrols on Halloween, so it would be easy to get an officer to make an arrest. $250 is a lot on money to an elementary school kid, so they should get plenty of enforcers.

    As an added bonus, they can confiscate untaxed pumpkin decorations, freeze them, and sell them the next year on E-bay.

  10. You have straight up lost your mind. Cheez Whiz is DELICIOUS. How can you not like Cheez Whiz?

  11. I almost poop myself and I get no response. Geesh!

  12. Hey, don’t dis Cheez Whiz. It is a lifesaver. It is the easiest way to get my dog to take her epilepsy medicine twice a day.

  13. SST,

    You mean your “partner,” not your sidekick, if we are going to be all modern about it.

    The $250 would have to apply only to the first person who reports that particular pumpkin to be untaxed. Perhaps the IRS can mandate that pumpkins carry serial numbers to facilitate this process.

    TT –

    What response were you looking for? ;)

    Neil & LL,

    I only like snobby cheese. :( I’ll give people the benefit of the doubt if they like American or Swiss or other cheese named after countries instead of regions in France, but Cheez Whiz? I mean, I wouldn’t feed that to my dog… although your mileage my vary. ;)

  14. Swing by my blog and bask in the wonder that is me- or at least the confirmation that perhaps my tremendous ego isn’t unwarranted.

  15. I just read an obituary this morning where the lady was survived by her son and his partner. I will go with associate or even confederate, but not partner.

    Maybe pumpkins could be genetically modified to have serial numbers when they are grown. This could be financed by that pumpkin tax. Although confiscating the pumpkins and selling them on E-bay would eliminate the double fine problem. I wonder if the buyer would have to pay the 5% tax?

    As for cheese, if it is not American I am afraid of it. You don’t know where that stuff has been. Some of it has holes in it!

  16. Gotta love the internet. Always more than enough morons to go around. Gutless little wimps who enjoy raining on someone else’s parade because they won’t face any consequences. I am so ticked off.

  17. […] of all, a big thanks to the Teddybear for making all this possible. Second of all, thank you Bridget for the title […]

  18. TT,



    You would have to pay the tax on eBay if you were to use the pumpkins for decoration but not for food, presumably.

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