fun with taxes
Posted by adiamondinsunlight on March 20, 2008
My parents arrived yesterday, bringing gifts of all kinds. I now have a new spring wardrobe, three jars of my favorite peanut butter and so many bottles of nail polish that I can’t decide which to try first.
Nestled among the other gifts (“I’m so glad customs didn’t open our suitcases”, my mother said. “What a nightmare it would have been for them.”) were my 2007 taxes.
I know: taxes are not usually put in the “fun gifts” category. But I file state taxes in Iowa, where there is indeed some tax-time fun to be had.
What I love most about Iowa is its array of agriculture-related tax deductions, like the “you won’t find THIS in New York” Cow-Calf Refund:
I don’t own any cows (or calves) but I love seeing Iowa’s rural heritage (and legislative efforts to support it – even if some are a bit pork barrel’y) on my tax form.
Iowa also breaks down earned income in agricultural ways, with separate categories for farm rental and for farming and fishing income:
Again, this doesn’t affect me: I have no farm to rent, and I couldn’t earn money from fishing to save my life. But I love that I come from a state that recognizes these as discrete categories of labor.
I also love the “political checkoff” option: in most American states, you can elect to add $1-2 to your tax bill as a donation to the political party of your choice. For those who support campaign finance, reform, this measure has been a great support.
I don’t like the amount of the checks I have to write, but I do like the charm of Iowa taxes :).