Man, That Really Slices My Bagel

Here's a story that's been making the rounds about New York State's grasping, avaricious tax collectors.

In New York, the sale of whole bagels isn't subject to sales tax. But the tax does apply to "sliced or prepared bagels (with cream cheese or other toppings)," according to the state Department of Taxation and Finance. And if the bagel is eaten in the store, even if it's never been touched by a knife, it's also taxed.
The story describes the ire of a Bruegger's Bagel franchisee who was brought into compliance and now charges 8 cents more for a sliced bagel than an unsliced one. He reports "boiling rage" on the part of his customers.

Ha! Ha! Silly New Yorkers! They're so cute when they're mad! Thank goodness our state doesn't… oh, wait a minute.

How are bakery products taxed? All bakery products sold in quantities of less than six from a restaurant are taxable. A bakery is classified as a restaurant when it offers other taxable items for sale such as, but not limited to, coffee, soda, sandwiches, salad bars and/or prepared foods. The taxability of bakery products is not affected by whether the bakery product is served to be eaten on the premise or on a "to go" basis.
Is NH's "less than six" rule a more or less arbitrary rule than NY's "sliced or prepared"? I can't tell. But here's your free tax advice du jour: if you're in the Granite State, and planning on buying five bagels, you might want to bump that up to six.

(To be honest, I've never noticed whether our local supermarket nicks me for our 9% Rooms and Meals tax when I buy a single bagel for the next day's breakfast.)