As a kid in West Texas, when the Fourth of July rolled around my friends and I would head out to the countryside to set off fireworks.
When the weather was dry, which it usually was, the threat of a scrub fire ignited by a wayward bottle rocket was very real.
Since the time my friends and I were firebugs, the fire departments that must deal with such blazes have gotten some help from the Texas tax collector.
On Oct. 1, 2001, the Lone Star State enacted a 2 percent tax on the purchase of small fireworks sold to the general public. This is in addition to the regular state and local sales taxes, and the revenue from the extra fee goes to a program that assists rural fire departments.
Texas could make more on the tax if it let folks buy fireworks year round. Currently, the pyrotechnic devices can only be sold from June 24 through July 4 and from Dec. 20 through Jan. 1.
Then again, if kids today are anything like we were, increased fireworks availability would probably create more problems for the fire departments than the tax-funded assistance program could handle.
Tax trip around the United States: This post is part of our series highlighting tax information from the 50 U.S. states and Washington, D.C. You can read other state tax blurbs at our Complete menu of tasty state tax tidbits.
The State Tax Departments page provides links to official state and District of Columbia revenue Web sites so that you can find out more about your home’s tax laws and filing requirements.
As we work through the 2010 tax season, a different state will be featured each day as noted in Don’t forget your state taxes! Check back to see what tax tidbit we share about your home.