The city of San Francisco is enjoying a budget surplus for the first time in many years, thanks to a recently imposed weight tax on fat people. The “fat tax” charges visitors to the city $10 per pound of excess weight over certain prescribed normal weight guidelines. For men, the standard is 165 lbs for a height of 5 feet 9 inches (or 75 kg, 1.77 m); for women, the standard is 105 lbs for a height of 5 feet 6 inches (47 kg, 1.68 m).
According to the San Francisco Office of the Treasurer and Tax Collector, the largest (pardon the pun) revenue generators come from the cruise ships that call into port at San Francisco. “After all those calorie-laden meals and lack of activity, cruise passengers weigh in at orders of magnitude more than the prescribed guidelines.”
Not surprisingly, cruise ship operators have lodged a formal complaint with the SF Mayor’s office citing discrimination. A spokesperson for the Mayor however brushed aside complaints saying, “Obesity is the number one threat facing America today. Our nation spends a disproportionate percentage of its health care budget treating obesity-related diseases. San Francisco wants to be at the forefront of the war on fat.”
San Francisco’s fat tax has attracted a lot of interest from other cash-strapped cities and counties seeking to cover serious budget deficits. Indeed, the federal government is looking into imposing a National Fat Tax and has already begun a series of initiatives to obtain its fair share at San Francisco’s international airport. The Immigration and Naturalization Service has already instructed immigration inspectors at SFO to install weight scales to weigh incoming passengers. The city initially balked at revenue sharing with the federal government, but in the end, it negotiated a deal that will transform the airport’s Fast Track Immigration service to a FAT Track.
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Happy April Fools!