The battle between California and New York for the biggest fiscal shitshow has reached new heights as Albany seems to be going after New Yorkers where it really counts.
For many of you living in New York, grabbing a bagel at your local shop is part of the weekday morning routine. You walk in, wait in line, place the order, pay the total and get on with your day. It’s good to know that the one constant in your life is that the Ess-a-Bagel will charge you the same price for your sesame seed bagel with butter day after day after day.
Well! That constant, your rock, your consistently-priced doughy security blanket may soon be stripped away from you. The Journal reported yesterday that bagel chain Bruegger’s got the wrath of the New York Department of Taxation and Finance, demanding that owner Kenneth Greene start collecting “taxes on all bagels, except for those that remain intact and are consumed off premises,” and collected a ‘significant’ sum of taxes owed.
Why, you ask? Because an obscure law on the books says that a sales tax is to be charged on “sliced or prepared bagels (with cream cheese or other toppings).” OH! And if you eat your everything with cream cheese and tomato in the shop, you’ll also be charged the tax.
The Post has stretched the lengths of investigative journalism once again to find out that most of the vendors around the City haven’t been charging you the extra 9¢ for that carbolicious breakfast.
[T]he vast majority of the bagel vendors The Post visited yesterday didn’t tax sliced bagels with no toppings as they are supposed to.
“I don’t think it’s fair. Why would I put tax on a sliced bagel when you don’t want nothing on it?” said Basil Colon, a cashier at Daniel’s Bagels on Third Avenue in Murray Hill.
He served a cinnamon-raisin bagel, sliced with no spread, to a Post reporter for $1.10, which didn’t include the extra tax of about 9 cents.
Like many bagel-store workers throughout the city, he didn’t know about the slice tax.
We think we speak for everyone, when we say, “What. The. Fuck. Albany?” This is what it has come to? The dire fiscal needs of the Empire State have gotten to the point that you’re shaking down bagel shops for an extra 9¢ per bagel? Granted, that may be a lot – A LOT – of bagels but you’re applying the smallest bandage in the box to a gaping head wound. A head wound that has caused many to think that the next step is to put a tourniquet on the neck of the state government.
You really want to kill the will of the people? Just keep shit like this up. Next thing you know they’ll start slapping the tax on pizza unless you buy the whole pie…unsliced.
Sliced Bagels, Taxes on Top [WSJ]
NY’s cut of bagel ‘dough’ [NYP]