From Practical Economics
According to First Data Corporation and Taxware.com there are some unusual sales tax
laws on the books in the U.S. that might not meet the equity, simplicity, and efficiency needs of an
effective tax system.
o West Virginia taxes sparklers and other novelties, in addition to the state’s regular 6
percent sales tax.
o Kentucky’s thoroughbred stud fees are subject to sales tax.
o Cloth diapers are exempt from sales tax in Wisconsin; however, disposable diapers
o In California, fresh fruit is tax-exempt unless it is purchased from a vending
machine where it is taxed on 33 percent of the price.
o In Texas, holiday tree decoration services are taxable, but only if the decorator
provides the ornaments. Holiday pictures painted on windows, phone calls from
holiday characters and greeting cards featuring Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny are
o Dead people in Ohio get a tax break because applying makeup in a mortuary is taxfree,
while applying makeup in a beauty salon is taxable.
o South Dakota taxes air ambulance services but not ground ambulance services.
o Pennsylvania taxes air used in coin-operated vacuum vending machines, commonly
found at car washes.