A Case for Candy Taxation

Writen by: Hank Wethington

Posted on 31 October 2009

CandyFor those that stumbled over here thinking I was going to addresses the government taxing junk food, I’m sorry, you might want to hit the back button. What I am going to talk about is parents taxing the candy haul on Halloween night. Taxing the kids? You bet. First, I’ll give you my method; one which I believe is fair to the kids, but still teaches some key lessons. Secondly, I’ll present my case for why.

I’m sure my kids are no different then yours, next to Christmas and their birthdays, Halloween is a favorite holiday. While the costumes are always fun, let’s face it, what they love is the candy. Lots of candy. Too much candy. Every year the candy haul seems to get larger. Of course, it’s not like we as parents have nothing to do with that. We buy more candy every year to hand out, and take our kids to more parties and more neighborhoods to trick-or-treat in. What started off as a small plastic pumpkin with 20-30 candies, has now become a pillowcase that’s 3/4 full of teeth rotting, sickness inducing, sugary treats.

Again, like most parents, we don’t allow the kids to eat candy before it’s inspected, so it all comes home where it is poured out and given a through inspection to make sure there’s nothing bad in the pile. Yeah, I know, I’m probably a little paranoid. After 11 years we’ve never found anything that needed to be thrown away, but still I don’t think we can be too careful. Once the candy is all spread out, we count them, the tax is set at 10% of the take, so we need to know what the total is. Let’s say it’s 100 pieces.

To make it fair, an important aspect of keeping everyone happy, I allow the kids to set aside 10%, or in this case, 10 pieces, that I can’t take the tax from. This gives them a chance to save the full-size candy bar, or that favorite gummi candy aside and not worry about me taking it. After they’ve pulled their 10, I get to choose 10 pieces that go to The Man as a taxation. Fair, easy and straight forward. Everyone comes out a winner, even the dentist.

Why go through all this when as the holder of the debit card I could just go to the store buy all the candy I want? The easiest answer is, it reduces the amount of candy the kids have, forces them to share, and it give us, the parents, a small variety of candy we don’t often get without having to buy multiple bags. However, it also teaches the kids a little about the way of life. When I come home from work with my paycheck, there’s this line, actually multiple lines, where money is taken out to go to various government entities. It’s a little stretch, and it’s only once a year, but I think it gives the kids a little taste of taxation, that they will certainly experience more of in life.

Are you gonna tax your kids candy haul? Let me know what you think.

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