2010-09-23 / Front Page

Fed Up Yet?

State goes after sliced bagels for more tax revenue
Eric Gross

Kevin Stenger throws his hands up in disgust while discussing the bagel law enforcement. Eric Gross Kevin Stenger throws his hands up in disgust while discussing the bagel law enforcement. Eric Gross Bagel lovers are about to revolt as bagel cops are on patrol.

New York State is facing record deficits and has recently begun new enforcement of an old law that is hitting the consumer at their local bagel shop.

Believe it or not, the issue stems from how you eat your bagel.

Kevin Stenger, proprietor of Bagel- Licious, located on Gleneida Avenue in Carmel near the Shop-Rite Plaza, says if a customer purchases a bagel that is unsliced and leaves the store, the sale is non taxable: “Likewise, if my staff or I slice that bagel and you leave the eatery, there is no tax charged. However, if you decide to munch on the bagel while in the shop, the sale is taxable. It is totally crazy!”

Stenger has decided to keep the status quo until he meets with his accountant and learns more about the law: “Sandwiches made on bagels are already taxed, as are sandwiches made on bread and wraps. Bagels and cream cheese are taxed. If a customer comes into the store and asks me for a bagel, I will not ask him whether or not he is leaving through a back door or is going to sit down at a table and eat the bagel.”

New York State’s Department of Taxation and Finance has begun auditing bagel shop owners, saying if you slice it or serve it in a store it must be taxed. The state’s only guidelines indicate that bagels are tax exempt as bakery products but “once they become handled, they become prepared meals.”

Stenger said the 10 cents per bagel tax is insane: “A bagel costs 80 cents. This ridiculous tax is more than 10 percent of the price of the bagel, which is more than the sales tax. The enforcement of the tax is leaving a bad taste in the mouths of many bagel lovers, including me.”

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