if you live in NYC that is.
Beginning December 12th, all residents of the NYC’s five boroughs will be subject to a Christmas Lights Tax. You may recall that the city was considering this new way to increase revenue back in November when the Crunchy Leaf Tax, now known as CLT1, went into effect. Crunchy Leaf was such a success with the autumn season lasting so long that city leaders were quick to put the finishing touches on this latest income generator.
Passed early last week, the Christmas Lights Tax, or CLT2, will cost New Yorkers a “vague and undisclosed amount per light.” When asked to be more specific we were told that “Part of Christmas and other winter holidays is about giving gifts and receiving presents. Our gift to New Yorkers is the chance to balance the budget. We can’t tell you how much you’ll be paying exactly – that’s a surprise. A present just isn’t the same when it’s not a surprise.”
While our skilled reporters milled around city hall in the bitter cold and dark of night, they were able to listen in on some jolly discussions about the subject. Steady lights will cost more than blinking or running ones. This is because they are usually cheaper, meaning that consumers are initially paying less in sales tax when they buy them. This adjustment makes up for that difference. Running and blinking lights are much nicer, they claim, and are usually in the better homes. They attract more tourists, meaning that these home owners already contribute more to the city than those “plain light people.”
Large chain stores will not be subject to CLT2, since it’s considered advertising for the lights they are selling. Small businesses, on the other hand, will be required to pay the same rate as any other home owner or apartment dwelling, fire escape decorator. “If Mom & Pop want to sell lights, they can put up a sign”, said one politician. “If they are celebrating the Christmas spirit or whatever they want to call it, that’s their personal business. I don’t think the bible says ‘thou shalt put up UL approved lighting in December.’”
Politicians had considered charging different rates for different colors, since some are more popular than others. For example, blue was all the rage a few years back, this year seems to be red or white. Lawmakers decided this measure wouldn’t pan out because “New Yorkers are sneaky and shifty” and would simply return the more costly ones for cheaper, less trendy colors. One newsie asked if the city was worried that spiteful gothamists would simply give up and not decorate with lights at all. “We’re not concerned about that. These people, no matter what “class” they are, are just suckers for the holidays. I don’t know what it is about them, you just can’t keep them down. Frankly, it’s exhausting.”