Pumpkins Taxed in Iowa

Pumpkins are a decoration -- so they're taxed

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) -- Is a pumpkin used for food or for decoration?

It makes a difference in Iowa. If it's mostly used as an edible squash, the state sales tax doesn't apply. If it's used mostly as a Halloween decoration, it gets taxed.

This year, the decision has been made that it's mostly a decoration, not a food. So, the sales tax kicks in.

Iowans who plan to eat their pumpkins can still get a tax exemption, if they fill out a form.

A spokeswoman for the state's tax agency says, "We wanted the sales tax law to match what we thought the predominant use was."

Some farmers are feeling tricked. The owners of the Buffalo Pumpkin Patch near Davenport says he doesn't mind paying taxes -- but, in his words, "let's get real here, people."

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