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10 Everyday Items That Cost You Way More Thanks to U.S. Import Taxes


A bite out of your sandwich. Peanut imports are subject to an ad valorem tax up to 163.8%. (Alamy)
By Alex Brokaw

It might be said that America is a country built on tariffs. In 1790, Alexander Hamilton proposed The Act Laying Duties on Imports, which suggested imported goods should be more expensive to protect American industries. Since the law was passed into legislation, taxes on imports have been an American mainstay, and have helped to support our industries ever since.

Of course, tariffs have also sparked controversy and political battles, especially in the last few decades. Recent headlines on tariffs have highlighted the ongoing economic tensions between the United States and China. In June, the Department of Commerce announced preliminary tariff hikes as high as 5.81% on Chinese solar-product manufacturers Trina Solar (TSL) and Suntech Power Holdings (STP) in an effort to protect U.S. manufacturers. And this month, the United States filed a complaint with the World Trade Organization for China's tariffs on U.S.-manufactured automobiles.

U.S.-China relations are only a single, albeit considerably complex, factor that play into a host of import taxes influenced both by international relations and private and public interests.

Here, Minyanville braves the complexities of the United States' current Tariff Schedule and digs up some of America's highest, least expected, and most controversial duties.

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Cities with the Lowest Tax Rates

The total amount of tax you pay reaches far beyond what you owe the federal government. Depending on where you live, most likely you're required to pay additional taxes, including property and sales tax. The disparity between the amount of tax you pay in a low-tax city and that in a high-tax city can be dramatic. Living in any of these 10 cities could save you a bundle, although the exact amount may fluctuate based on your income and lifestyle choices.

Cities with the Highest Tax Rates

Much ado is made in the press about federal tax brackets, but cities can carry a tax bite of their own. Even if you live in a state that has no income tax, your city may levy a variety of taxes that could eat away the entire benefit of living in an income tax-free state, including property taxes, sales taxes and auto taxes. Consider all the costs before you move to one of these cities, and understand that rates may change based on your family's income level.

Great Ways to Get Charitable Tax Deductions

Generally, when you give money to a charity, you can use the amount of that donation as a deduction on your tax return. However, not all charities qualify as tax-deductible organizations. While there are many types of charities, they must all meet certain criteria to be classified by the IRS as tax-deductible organizations. There are legitimate tax-deductible organizations in many popular categories, such as those listed below.

A Freelancer's Guide to Taxes

Freelancing certainly has its benefits, but it can result in a few complications come tax time. The Internal Revenue Service considers freelancers to be self-employed, so if you earn income as a freelancer you must file your taxes as a business owner. While you can take additional deductions if you are self-employed, you'll also face additional taxes in the form of the self-employment tax. Here are things to consider as a freelancer when filing your taxes.

Tax Deductions for Voluntary Interest Payments on Student Loans

Most taxpayers who pay interest on student loans can take a tax deduction for the expense ? and you can do this regardless of whether you itemize tax deductions on your return. The rules for claiming the deduction are the same whether the interest payments were required or voluntary.

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i work in the textile capital of the world and the textiles are gone because of people like this guy todd young and the GOP the should be higher to protect US jobs

July 30 2012 at 10:06 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Imports cost you way more than you think. American Jobs. American dignity. American pride. Let these imports rot at the docks. Buy only American made. It is supply and demand. If you go to the stores and demand loud and clear that you want American made, the stores will supply whatever the consumer wants. If you are willing to accept these imports, learn to live with the consequences.

July 29 2012 at 9:19 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to janicefenton's comment

Imagine how expensive everything would be if it were made in america. The problem is not the overseas workforce that will work for next to nothing. The problem is the american worked that things he is entitled to $20/hour and benefits for doing a job my four year old could do. Here are four bolts, all you have to do is put them on that little screw thingy. LOL.

July 30 2012 at 12:47 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

If you want to get ahead in this world do like Nancy Pelosi, The splinting image of Freddy Krueger..

Nancy Pelosi never read the health care bill but she sure read all the insider trading stock tips sent to her..
Nancy Pelosi Blocked Credit Card Reform While Investing Millions in Exclusive Visa Stock Offering

Former Speaker of the House–and current Minority Leader–Nancy Pelosi apparently bought $1 million to $5 million of Visa stock in one of the most sought-after and profitable initial public offerings (IPO) in American history, thwarted serious credit card reform for two years, and then watched her investment skyrocket 203%.
Her response to a reporter when asked about this was " What's your point? I did nothing wrong."
Politicians spend most of their time fighting off law suites and the ethics committee for they crimes they were caught doing.
The rest of their time is spend on defending all of the illegal's in this country who cry discrimination because they might get deported back to their own cesspool of a country. The politicians fight to keep them here so they can turn this country into a mirror image of the place they just left.

July 29 2012 at 8:42 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply

Alex, we have the fewest tariffs on the fewest number of products than any of our trading partners.

Our economy would grow if we matched the tariffs other countries place on our exports.

July 29 2012 at 6:47 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

At first this is funny .. . .

but then you realise the awful truth of it .

Be sure to read all the way to the end!

Tax his land,
Tax his bed,
Tax the table
At which he's fed .

Tax his work,
Tax his pay,
He works for peanuts

Tax his cow,
Tax his goat,
Tax his pants,
Tax his coat .

Tax his tobacco,
Tax his drink,
Tax him if he
Tries to think

Tax his car,
Tax his gas,
Find other ways
To tax his ass .

Tax all he has
Then let him know
That you won't be done
Till he has no dough

When he screams and hollers;
Then tax him some more,
Tax him till
He's good and sore

Then tax his coffin,
Tax his grave,
Tax the sod in
Which he's laid .

When he's gone,
Do not relax,
It's time to apply
The inheritance tax .

July 29 2012 at 6:41 PM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to PAPA CROTEAU's comment

Accounts Receivable Tax
Airline surcharge tax
Airline Fuel Tax
Airport Maintenance Tax
Building Permit Tax
Cigarette Tax
Corporate Income Tax
Goods and Services Tax (GST)
Death Tax
Driving Permit Tax
Environmental Tax (Fee)
Excise Taxes
Income Tax
Fishing License Tax
Food License Tax
Petrol Tax (too much per litre)
Gross Receipts Tax
Health Tax
Inheritance Tax
Interest Tax
Heating Tax
Lighting Tax
Liquor Tax
Luxury Taxes
Marriage License Tax
Medicare Tax
Mortgage Tax and his pension
Personal Income Tax
Property Tax
Poverty Tax
Prescription Drug Tax
Real Estate Tax
Recreational Vehicle Tax
Retail Sales Tax
Service Charge Tax
School Tax & Tax what he buys and what he sells
Telephone Tax
Vehicle License Registration Tax
Vehicle Sales Tax
Water Tax
Workers Compensation Tax
Tax (VAT) on Tax .
And Now they want a blooming Carbon Tax!


Not one of these taxes existed 100 years ago . . .and

our nation was one of the most prosperous in the world .

We had absolutely no national debt, had a large

middle class, a huge manufacturing base, and

Mum stayed home to raise the kids.
What in the Hell happened?

Could it be the lying parasitic politicians wasting our money?

Oh, and don't forget the relatively new bank charges ..

And we all know what we think of Bankers

July 29 2012 at 6:42 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply

Who'd have thought we have to protect domestic paper clip manufacturing?

July 29 2012 at 4:45 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Obviously something is rotten on Pennsylvania Avenue; no intelligent American president would do the things Obama has done. There has been talk of his inexperience, incompetence, or just plain stupidity to explain his Bizarro-administration. However, Obama is not incompetent; he is an intelligent anti-American president. Obama is not a failure at his job -- his job is the failure of our country.

July 29 2012 at 3:57 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to ragtopdaz's comment

you mean bush don't you????

July 29 2012 at 5:09 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply

But wait... Barry is a Harvard graduate.... he majored in Community Organizing and had his Harvard Graduate thesis sealed.


July 30 2012 at 8:03 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply

So these 10 items that are imported could be made here cheaper? That's a good thing. Raise the tariffs more so that American businesses can make these items for Americans. Not an issue. Instead of advocating more imports, try advocating work and jobs for Americans. Stupid stand point unless youre not American trying to justify your products export to the US.

July 29 2012 at 3:22 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

If all these products were growing and made here in the USA we wouldnt need tariffs on them

July 29 2012 at 3:21 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

The Governments and the banks grand plan of keeping us as well as our kids and grand kids as indentured servants is working as planed..
You will never own, nor have anything you can call your own.
They own the land you live on, they own half of your pay check, now soon they will decide how much health care you are worth according to the amount of tribute you give them.

If you hard core believers out there think you own the house and land you have paid for, think again.
Just miss a few years of taxes as see where you end up!!

I hate to say it, but the only thing you will ever own that the government can not take away from you is the burial plot your in as well as your coffin.

But now on the other hand if your one of those people who has never worked hard for you as well as yours kids and grand kids your saying is: : (The world is my oyster.)
(something from which you may extract or derive advantage by letting others pay for your daily needs.

No work no problem, no tribute to the government, no problem..

God provides food stamps, SSI, section 8 housing, free medical. And what ever is needed to keep the Serfs happy and for their votes to keep the madness going..

July 29 2012 at 2:55 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply