Another Anniversary, Another Tax Bill

I’ve already blogged about the tax bill my wife and I incurred for celebrating our anniversary back in January. We went to West Virginia this weekend to mark two more happy occasions — my Dad’s 70th birthday and my parents’ 45th anniversary — and the bureaucrats were there, too.

Aunt Virginia didn’t get our money this time, though. The cash went to her cousins in neighboring West Virginia and Maryland, which we had to travel through to get home.

The sales-tax bill for the celebratory lunch at Cheddar’s near Wheeling was $4.06. The Mountain State charges 6 percent, compared with 5 percent in Virginia. We also made it a family affair, with our three children joining us at lunch, so my parents’ anniversary meal was a bit pricier than the date my wife and I had at the neighborhood steakhouse.

The entire trip was even pricier. We had to fill the gas tank twice, including once in West Virginia, which has a much steeper gas tax (31.5 cents per gallon) than Virginia (20.5 cents). And we had meals on the road Friday (Maryland) and today (West Virginia), paying 6 percent in taxes both times.

Our total tax bill to go home and celebrate with my parents was $19.96. That takes some of the joy out of the occasions.


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