Washington Secrets

Uncle Sam's Valentine's Day tax: 33% on chocolate, jewels, flowers

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Politics,Paul Bedard,Washington Secrets

If it were up to Washington, Valentine's Day would happen monthly. But not for the romance and love inspired by Cupid's day. According to American for Tax Reform, the reason is more basic: Tax income.

According to ATR, Americans spend $18.6 billion on Valentine's Day for items such as candy, flowers, dinner, jewelry, greetings cards, clothing, and hotels. And the anti-tax group figures that the government composes 33.1 percent of those costs via fees, taxes on the income of those who make or sell the goods, excise taxes, and international tariffs.

One example is a box of chocolates. ATR said that 30.8 percent of the price goes to the government. "Gold necklaces and diamonds owe 35.8 percent of their price to government taxation," they add.

Taking a Valentine's Day weekend trip? ATR said 39.4 percent of the hotel room's price is owed to Uncle Sam; 38.8 percent of a car rental.

"Valentine's Day is usually a time to reflect on that special someone in your life. However, with government making up 33.1 percent of the cost of the holiday, it may mean it's time for taxpayers and government to spend some time apart."

The graphic has more details.

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