Bagel Tax

City Living, Policy

Image: Jazz Guy via flickr

Though it’s not too hard to understand the logic behind a mansion tax, a bagel tax…oy vey! Next time you hit your local bagel shop, know that if you get your breakfast sliced–or heaven forbid, with schmear–you’ll get smacked with an 8.875 percent sales tax. If you eat it in the store, (even if it’s still whole), boom, more tax.

The folks at Turbotax explain that, “the state adds an eight-cent tax to any altered bagels,” which includes, “bagel sandwiches (served buttered or with spreads, or otherwise as a sandwich)” or even just sliced for you. According to the New York state Department of Taxation and Finance, “Generally, food and food products sold by food stores are exempt from sales tax.” That bagel loses its exemption when it is “sold heated; it is sold for consumption on the premises; or it has been prepared by the seller and is ready to be eaten, whether for on premises or off premises consumption.”

In honor of Tax Day, we ask: What’s with this bagel tax?

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