SACRAMENTO, CA—The California legislature unveiled plans last week for a new tax on the privilege of breathing.
The "Check Your Oxygen Privilege Act" will be voted on later this week. If passed into law, Californians will pay a progressive tax on inhaling oxygen and exhaling carbon dioxide, with wealthier residents paying as much as 40% of their income for every breath they take. The poorest tax bracket may receive a subsidy for their breaths under the new model.
"Once again, California is at the forefront of progress," Jerry Brown said in a press conference Monday. "We've talked about taxing text messages, vehicle mileage, sneezing, sleeping, and your very existence, and this was the logical next step." The government has reportedly developed special breathing meters to help implement the bill, should it pass. Californians will be forced to purchase the meters from the state and wear them at all times to ensure accurate measurement of the amount of air they're using.
At publishing time, California had unveiled a tax on taxes, charging residents a luxury tax for the privilege of being taxed.