Kathy Posner

The state of New York has just started enforcing an, up until now, hidden ”bagel clause” in the state tax code. This clause calls for an approximately 8¢ per bagel tax if the bagel has been sliced or prepared before consumption or if it is consumed inside a store. A whole bagel carried out of the store has no tax.

The tax has been unenforced until recently when an audit found that New York chain Bruegger’s Bagel was in violation of the tax. The state demanded that the owner pay a huge back tax, according to the Wall Street Journal. Owner Kenneth Greene posted a sign near the cash register explaining the extra charge for the bagels when customers thought he was gouging them on the charges.

New Yorkers are going insane at the bagel tax and we in Illinois have to hope that Governor Quinn does not hear about it! Or maybe it’s good if Quinn tries to enact the tax because then for sure all the votes in the November gubernatorial election will go to Jewish Independent candidate Scott Lee Cohen.

First the controversy about a Mosque being built close to ground zero and now an Anti-Semitic bagel tax. I guess they will all be speaking Arabic soon in Manhattan.

The tax is confusing because the exact rules aren’t spelled out in the tax code. According to tax officials, a sliced loaf of bread in a bakery is not taxed, but a sliced bagel is. A spokesman for the Department of Taxation and Finance told the Wall Street Journal that the state "will provide additional guidance via our Web site and publications in the near future." If the taxman can’t give a straight answer about their own tax code, then how can a bagel store understand it?

New York State has a $9.2 billion deficit and just passed one of their largest budgets ever last month. The bagel tax has been around but has never been enforced until now as the legislator’s in the state capitol of Albany look to squeeze New Yorkers out of every penny they have. New Yorkers who love their bagels are screaming!

One of those screaming in her thick NY accent is advertising icon Wendy Kaufman, best known for her stints as formerly “The Snapple Lady” and contestant on VH1!’s Celebrity Fit Club. Her rant? “They don't have enough to worry about other than bagels? I would like to put a tax on all government officials who are immoral, unethical hypocrites. Forget the bagels!!! New York could raise millions with that kind of tax!”

Celebrity photographer and founder of the web site, James Edstrom, has one simple statement about the controversy, “Eat my bagel!” But will he pay the tax on it? He will have to if he wants his bagel sliced.

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Anonymous said…
Lorne Marr said…
If NY can collect 9.2 billion on taxes from sliced bagels this year, I will personally chip in, just to be a part of it.
What if I just buy the bagel and bring my own knife and chair? Do I still have to pay the tax?
James Edstrom said…
Its a 9.2 billion deficit, I can not imagine what they would make. So stupid. Thanks for the comment.

James Edstrom