At some point the term “death tax” has been a bit of a misnomer. After all, the tax (estate taxes) is not really a tax on dying per se. It is a tax on the estate of the deceased, but not strictly a tax on someone’s death. But no longer is the term “death tax” mere bombast or hyperbole. Not since the King County, Washington has had anything to do with it, anyway. King County, it seems, has devised a real death tax and has applied to an infant that lived only one hour.
Baby Olivia Clark strained to live but was successful for only one hour. She passed because her tiny lungs never developed properly to sustain life because she was polycycstic. Doctors didn’t even think she’d survive birth, but she struggled valiantly for a full hour.
Baby Olivia died in the University of Washington Medical Center, Seattle, a facility that happens to be in King County, Washington.
When baby Olivia’s parents finally received all the bills for their baby’s struggles they noticed an odd entry on the funeral bill.
“There was a little line on there near the bottom of the bill that said ‘King county death tax: $50.’ And we looked at that, and looked at that and looked at each other and said ‘what is that?’ Couldn’t believe that a little girl that lived for an hour has to pay a $50 tax,” said Larry.
That’s right, King County has devised a true death tax, a tax levied on the survivors of the recently departed.
What the heck is the tax for, you might wonder? According to the county, every death there is investigated and an official determination of what caused the death is conducted. This $50 charge is for the paperwork necessary to achieve the determination.
“The reason we do that is to make sure no one goes to the crematorium or to their grave without society and the family knowing exactly how their loved one died,” says Gareth Johnson, King County Prevention Division Manager.
Baby Olivia’s father just thinks its another way to rip off the taxpayers and one more sad episode in his daughter’s short life.
“Every time I turn around the county appears to be nickel and diming us, putting a tax on this and a tax on that. Where does it end?” said Larry
Where does it end, indeed?
According to the KING Channel 5 news, other counties in the nation are doing this or looking at instituting such taxes, too. Sadly, baby Olivia will not be alone in this outrageous tax, it appears.