Matablog

Taxman, Mr. Thief

June 14th, 2007 at 3:33 pm by Gerard

No word on how the hacky-sac tax will be enforced, however, from the Tennesean's Jessica Fender.

Among the hippies, rockers, free spirits and other Bonnaroo revelers partying in Manchester today will be a less likely festival figure: the taxman.

In an example of Tennessee's controversial drug tax in action, state revenue agents plan to collect fees on the illegal substances that some concertgoers bring for personal use and sale. It's not an effort to curb drug use — for some, a Bonnaroo tradition that has sent tens to the hospital and a few to the morgue — but to make sure state and local authorities recoup drug enforcement costs.

For an ounce and a half of marijuana, just above the limit for a misdemeanor drug charge, the tax amounts to about $165, said Al Laney, director of tax enforcement for the state revenue department.

"Naturally, these people will be arrested and their assets will be confiscated," Laney said. "We assess a person while they're under arrest and seize any assets that law enforcement may want to turn over to us."

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