I was reading something, somewhere about bizarre taxes or as my wife, Rosie, would claim, "all taxes are bizarre." In any event, I happen to notice that in one state you pay a special tax, above the usual sales tax, for buying a deck of cards.  Yup. If you are in Alabama and you want a deck of playing cards, you'll pay an extra 10 cents because the good folk in Montgomery have levied a 10-cent tax on the purchase of a deck of playing cards that contain, get this, "no more than 54 cards." You get two jokers. That's it!

And should you be a winner in that card game you are running every Friday night (you listening, Otto?), then be prepared to pay a wagering tax in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Illinois, and Oklahoma. Actually, the tax really has to do with casino gambling and it's usually levied on casino owners (like my friend Otto) who turn right around and pass it on to the customers through the cost of casino amusements. Yeah, I know, it does get a little silly. I mean, look at Chicago. If you go into, let's say an ice cream parlor that sells fountain soda drinks (for example, Mountain Dew in a glass), then you've got to pay a 9 percent tax. Of course, in the deli next door, you can reach into the big refrigerated case and pick up a can of the same beverage and your tax is only three percent. Don't ask me why. I don’t write these laws.

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