A short-lived yet well-known tax which screams controversy with its very name- the crack tax!

When did it exist?

The Tennessee General Assembly passed a law in 2005 which imposed a tax on substances like cocaine, marijuana and meth. Come 2009, the Tennessee Supreme Court judged in a 3-2 ruling that this is not constitutional and hence, should be repealed.

What is crack tax exactly?

In its full glory, drug dealers needed to pay anonymously and obtain a stamp from the State Revenue Office. While people might argue that it’s another way to make drug dealers pay, the common man and jurists alike are kept wondering about the constitutionality of the same.

Why is this controversial?

If it’s argued that it’s business and needs to be taxed like every other business but doesn’t taxing necessarily recognize an illegal trade? Is this another way of legalizing drugs?

What was even stranger about this crazy tax was that dealers actually ran the risk of being identified because if caught without a stamp, they ran a higher risk of paying a penalty.


There has been cartloads of weird things which has been taxed but crack tax definitely tops the list of long-ridiculed and actually ridiculous laws to ever exist in the history of taxation.


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