Grapevine: Charging per pound to fly

And now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine...

Inmate Sex Change

Today Massachusetts prison officials told a federal appeals court, taxpayers should not be on the hook for sex change surgery for a convicted murderer.

Michelle Kosilek is a transgender inmate but in 1990, she was a he, and he killed his wife.

Now Kosilek identifies as a woman.

Last year, a lower court ruled the state should fund Kosilek's gender reassignment surgery.

Kosilek's lawyers say their client suffers mental anguish and the only adequate treatment is surgery.

Kosilek has already received hormone treatments and laser hair removal on the taxpayer's dime.

Traveling Light

If you want a cheaper airfare pack light or shed some pounds.

Samoa Air is the first airline to charge people by weight the same as cargo.  

Passengers and luggage will be weighed at the airport and fares adjusted accordingly.

Airline executives say charging per pound makes a lot more sense than calculating per seat since fuel is the costliest expense for most airlines.

So if you gain a few pounds while on vacation or buy a lot of souvenirs you will have to dig a little deeper in your pockets for your return flight.

Tango Tax

And finally, protesters danced their way to the Washington state House Monday, to protest a decades-old dance tax.

They want to repeal the 1960's-era law on any establishment that gives patrons the opportunity to dance.

The bill got attention recently when several dance clubs who had not been paying that tax were slapped overdue bills.

Other unusual taxes -- in New York City, a sliced or toasted bagel is subject to a sales tax of almost nine percent, while an untouched bagel can be enjoyed duty-free.

In California, if you buy fruit from a vending machine, you must pay 33 percent more.

Colorado taxes eating items it deems non-essential, including napkins and utensils. But paper cups and plates, however, are deemed essential.
 

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