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Club for Growth Dumb Laws

The only thing standing between you and a dumb law is a politican.
Do you know of a dumb law in your state? Please send us evidence.

Most Recently Added Dumb Laws

Jul. 29, 2009 | State: all

Dumb Gambling Law

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Hawaii has a new dumb law. Good luck with compliance. From the Honolulu Advertiser:

A new bill signed into law this month by Gov. Linda Lingle has some frequent Las Vegas visitors and local CPAs scratching their heads.

Under House Bill 1495, no longer will gamblers be able to offset their winnings with their losses for Hawai'i state income tax purposes. Previously gamblers would be taxed only on their net winnings, but now they will be taxed on gross winnings.

A Hawai'i resident who wins $10,000 in a year, for example, and loses $9,000 in the same year used to be taxed only on the $1,000 in net winnings. Under the new law, that resident would be taxed on the full $10,000 in winnings.

Even if you end up a net loser, you will still be taxed on whatever you won along the way.

Dennis Kohara, a certified public accountant in Honolulu, called the law "ridiculous." "You sit down at the blackjack table. You win a hand. You lose the next one. You win another hand. You lose the next one," he said. And, under the new law, you now owe taxes on all the winning hands, which are not offset by any of the losing hands, Kohara said.

Jul. 7, 2009 | State: all

Dumb Raisin Bread Regulations

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Radio host Mike Slater points to federal regulations that mandate how many raisins must be in a loaf of raisin bread.

You didn't know the federal government regulates bread? Well, they regulate cherry pies, too.

Jul. 6, 2009 | State: all

Seattle's Dumb Head Tax

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Seattle's mayor wants to repeal the city's 3-year-old "head tax", which charges people $25 a year if they drive to work alone. Great passage from a Seattle Times editorial:

The money raised by the head tax supports a worthy investment, improving sidewalks and streets. But the city should have found a smarter way to pay for such basic necessities.

[...]At $25, the employee head tax is not so expensive but it sends a terrible message about Seattle's attitude toward business and employment.

Additionally, the tax creates an annoying paperwork headache: Employees who walk to work or take transit are exempted from the annual tax. Earning the exemption requires employers to fill out complicated paperwork.

How was this not predictable? Will politicians ever learn...before the fact?

HT: Tax Foundation

Jun. 25, 2009 | State: all

Tax Credits for Breastfeeding?

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Freshman Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR) is proposing a bill that would give tax credits to women who breastfeed. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand is the only co-sponsor.
Jun. 24, 2009 | State: California

The Golden Trashcan Award

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The Flash Report has given its "Golden Trashcan" award to the California Energy Commission for its proposal to ban big screen televisions. It's well deserved, I might add.
Jun. 17, 2009 | State: all

Dumb Travel Promotion Act of 2009

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Senator Byron Dorgan (D-ND), along with 43 other senators, have voiced their support for the Travel Promotion Act of 2009. Its goal? To encourage more foreigner travelers to come to the United States. How will this encouragement be financed? In part, by assessing a $10 fee on foreign travelers.
Jun. 12, 2009 | State: all

Explain This One to Me

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S. 1252 would "promote ocean and human health and for other purposes." It's being sponsored by Jay Rockefeller (D-WV). HT: Jim Harper
Jun. 9, 2009 | State: California

A Vegetable Mandate?

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Virginia Postrel writes:

The state is in fiscal collapse, so the California legislature is doing what it does best--finding new things to regulate. The latest a vegetable mandate for day care center lunches.

May. 18, 2009 | State: all

A Dumb Proposal in Oregon

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It seems like some lawmakers are drunk with power. The Oregon House of Representatives recently passed the "Honest Pint Act." From a local news report:

The law allows businesses serving draft beer to post state-issued stickers if their pints measure up to 16 ounces, or a full U.S. pint.

The movement to recognize Oregon establishments that arenƒ_Tt skimping on pint service was begun by Jeff Alworth, a beer blogger who petitioned to make honest pints an issue for state regulators of standards and measurements.

Some establishments serve beer in 13 or 14 ounce glasses but charge customers ƒ_oper pintƒ__ of beer.

HT: Freakonomics

May. 14, 2009 | State: Washington, DC

Dumb Law in DC

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Some people in the District of Columbia are getting parking tickets for parking in their own driveways! HT: Joel Mack
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