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Moo(t) Point: UP's 'cow cess' and other bizarre taxes from around the world

Moo(t) Point: UP's 'cow cess' and other bizarre taxes from around the world

Jan 03, 2019 04:28:16 PM (IST)

Moo(t) Point: UP\'s \'cow cess\' and other bizarre taxes from around the world-1

Lucknow: Since misery loves company, those in Uttar Pradesh who are upset by the Yogi Adityanath-led government's decision to impose a cow cess tax should take heart; they're not alone in being taxed for absurd things.

Apparently counting on the milk of human kindness, the Uttar Pradesh cabinet on Tuesday gave a nod to the proposal to levy a 2% 'cow welfare cess'. The move is aimed to construct shelters for cows in all districts, gram panchayats, municipalities, municipal corporations and other local bodies, within the state. A budget of Rs 100 crore has been sanctioned to the local bodies to construct the shelters, under the aegis of MNREGA.

In every district, a cowshed, which can house a minimum of 1,000 stray animals will be built, for which the excise department will levy a cess of 2%. This will be called 'cow welfare cess'.
Moo, er, Boo!

However, as mentioned, we're not alone.

The Scandinavian nation of Sweden, known as much for the high quality of life of its citizenry as its gorgeous snow-swept scenic beauty, seemingly has no chill when it comes to babies' names. The country has a 'Naming Law', which states, in part: "First names shall not be approved if they can cause offence or can be supposed to cause discomfort for the one using it, or names which for some obvious reason are not suitable as a first name". Given the ridiculous names that some parents, celebrity as well as civilian, stick their unfortunate offspring with, this is probably for the best.

Another slice of life comes from New York, where there's an 8 per cent tax on all "altered" bagels, whether it is sliced, toasted or served with a "schmear" of cream cheese or butter, as reported by USA Today.

Meanwhile, that great American state of Kansas differentiates between tethered and untethered hot air balloons, considering the latter to be a mode of transport and so taxing it; tethered hot air balloons are considered mere devices for amusement. While we're all for leaving people to their own devices, how many hot air balloons does Kansas have anyway?

Its next door neighbour, Missouri, would be the apple of elderly Indian relatives' eyes, given that the state taxed unmarried men, as did many other states in the US, with the 'bachelor tax' being thought to limit the delinquencies of rabble-rousing, unmarried young men, and encourage them to settle down into marital bliss. Indeed, the 'bachelor tax', as a concept, has been around since the Roman empire, since 9 AD, when the Roman Emperor Augustus levied ‘Lex Papia Poppaea’, which taxed single men as well as married couples who did not have children, as a means of controlling social norms. No wonder people say "Marriage is an institution"; they forget to mention whether it's tax deductible.