It’s Autumn in New York City, and there isn’t a better time to be here – unless you want step on that crunchy leaf.
On November 1st, New York City is set to impose its very first Crunchy Leaf Tax. This little known tax has been floated around by city lawmakers since 2002 and was finally passed, almost unanimously during a secret session in the wee hours of the morning of October 18th. The new tax law was relatively unopposed, as, according to one lawmaker, “City leaders are simply worn out and have all but given up their will to fight Tammany – I mean City Hall anymore.”
The Crunchy Leaf Tax is relatively simple – step on a wonderfully tempting crunchy leaf and pay a tax. Each crunched leaf will cost NYC residents one cent each, regardless of size, shape or species. Previously crunched leaves will only cost you if they still have some audible crunch left in them. Wet leaves and leaves in City Parks will not be taxed.
With over 592,000 trees on City Streets, that sure is a lot of pennies! According to some people on the internet, the average mature oak tree has approximately 200,000 leaves. If we are to assume that only half of those leaves will be deemed crunchy enough to be taxed, that will bring in an estimated 592 million dollars in just over a few months.
When asked about the new law, a spokesman for the Mayor’s office said “When we realized that the City had just planted thousands of trees over this past spring and summer, we were beside ourselves with excitement. This new tax could not have come at a better time. If New Yorkers think they are going to be able to take advantage of the nature that the City of New York has provided to them, for free, they are sorely mistaken. This city is in a financial crisis and we all have to step up. A penny isn’t too much to ask and no one is forcing anyone to step on a leaf. It has been said that you can’t get blood from a stone, but we are proud to say that we have proven that wrong.”
The Crunchy Leaf Tax was originally set to go into effect in time for Halloween, but the city felt they would lose out on valuable crunchy leaf income when the majority of freshly crunchable leaves will be taken out by city children trick or treating. Since the city has not been able to find a way to legally tax children, they have chosen to wait for the next fresh batch of leaves. They have not decided yet if there will be a stay on the new tax next Halloween “We’ll just have to see how it goes”, we were told. When asked what the city intended to use this new revenue for, their response was “Various stuff we need for things.”
Most New Yorkers we spoke with were eerily calm about the new tax. Many didn’t seem to care and none were surprised. “I’m planning to move out of this fascist stink-hole anyway,” said one native. “They’ve taken so much out of us these past eight years, I don’t think any of us have the strength to give a shit anymore.” Another New Yorker, who didn’t give is his name because it was none of our business told us to go to hell.
Other new tax laws rumored to be on the table are the Stepping Off the Curb to Look Both Ways tax and the Slamming Your Window at Bedtime Because of Noise Outside tax. There is also speculation that there may be a Blinking Christmas Light tax, but the city has yet to decide whether or not a Steady Christmas Light tax would be more profitable.
Tourists and non-residents, will, of course, not be expected to pay any of these new taxes. “We want this city to be a warm and inviting place for everyone” said one lawmaker. “If native New Yorkers with their attitudes and their famous accent can’t handle that, then maybe they should just leave.”