Fueled by granola (fishnet_hamster) wrote in ontd_political,
Fueled by granola

NY's cut of bagel 'dough': Extra tax for slicing


Only Albany could find a way to tax a cut.

The cash-strapped state has been enforcing a bizarre distinction in the tax laws which requires delis and food peddlers to impose a levy on sliced bagels -- even though there is no tax when the breakfast staple is sold whole.

The move could leave New Yorkers digging deeper, since the 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.

However, nearly all the stores The Post visited did tax on bagels that were ordered with cream cheese.

The New York Department of Taxation and Finance considers sliced bagels --even sans cream cheese or any other topping -- as prepared food.

Prepared food, like deli sandwiches, is subject to an 8.875-percent tax.

But a whole bagel, unsliced, is not considered prepared, and is therefore unaffected by the tax.

Confusing things further, even if a bagel is served unsliced, food vendors are still supposed to whack a tax on it if the customer eats it in the store.

And while none of the bagel sellers were enforcing the wacky slice-tax rule, they might have to start soon.

The state went after Bruegger's Bagels for not applying the tax, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Kenneth Greene, who owns 33 Bruegger's shops throughout the state, told the Journal that he was forced to pay a "significant" sum to Albany after he was caught not enforcing the law.

He put up a sign to tell his customers why they suddenly need more dough for their poppy-seed bagels.

"We apologize for this change and share in your frustration on this additional tax," the sign reads.

At the famed Murray's Bagels in Chelsea, the cashier didn't tax a $1 sliced cinnamon raisin bagel.

However, he did hit a sesame bagel with scallion cream cheese with a tax.

"I'll tax if someone's getting, like, six or more sliced bagels, but I'm not going to charge tax on one," said the cashier.
Tags: new york, taxes

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