Sales taxes are often inscrutable. (Even the five states who don’t have sales taxes have their weirdnesses.) Here in Soonerland, for instance, prescription drugs are exempt from sales tax, though if those same drugs later are sold over the counter, Oklahoma steps up and claims 4.5 percent, and cities and some counties pad the take further.
Still, that’s not quite as perverse a provision as this one in New York state:
For instance, is a bagel taxable? “Food that is prepared and arranged on a plate or platter by the seller, and that is ready to be eaten is taxable. It doesn’t matter whether the food is sold to be eaten at the store or another place, or whether it’s served hot or cold.” (Times Union, April 28, 2011.) So if a plain, unadorned bagel had been put in a bag, it would NOT be subject to sales tax.
Trust me on this: Oklahoma will tax your bagels. Period.