14 Outrageously Silly Tennessee Taxes and Laws
BY TREY GOFF
Excessive legislation, regulation, and taxation can often make criminals out of ordinary Americans while making everyone’s lives more costly and difficult. Here are fourteen of the most outrageous examples from the Volunteer State.
1. First on the list is a coin-operated amusement device tax, because it would be travesty for toddlers to ride coin-operated machines without paying their “fair share.”
2. The amusement tax, which amounts to nothing more than a tax against fun.
3. It is illegal to make food appear tastier than it really is, meaning justice can finally be had against whoever brings the fruit cake to every family reunion and potluck dinner.
4. You can legally be quarantined, as in locked away from everyone, for having an STD.
5. Want to sell imported catfish? That’s perfectly fine-you just can’t legally call it “catfish.”
6. It is illegal to sell fireworks in a county of more than 355,000 people unless you’ve been doing it for at least 45 years.
7. It is illegal to construct or use a water ski jump unless you’re putting on a professional act.
8. It is illegal to coast down a hill with your car in neutral or the clutch disengaged, because the fuel efficiency gained from doing so is a clear threat to Tennessee society.
You probably shouldn’t coast like this, though.
9. Be careful about what your bumper stickers say- if someone finds them offensive, you’ll be faced with a $50 fine.
10. A permit is required to sell ginseng, the harmless plant from Asia that’s been used to treat minor maladies for centuries.
11. Any retailer who sells beer can only have precisely one outdoor sign advertising beer, and it cannot list any brand names. The number of signs a retailer can have in their window, however, is unlimited, and can advertise any brand they please. Makes sense.
12. Restaurants in unincorporated areas can serve alcohol so long as the county population is between 30,200 and 30,475.
13. It is illegal to sell wine at a lower price than you paid for it. Why the state outlawed such a winning business practice is still unclear.
14. If your dog unexpectedly has a litter of puppies and you want to sell them, get ready to fork over $125 for a permit to do so. Want to transport those puppies you just sold to the customer’s house? That’ll be another $125.