Hook and Bullet Club

by Nick Wognum

Nothing is safe when the legislature is in session. Not even your venison sausage. <BR><BR>A call last week alerted me to a bill pending in St. Paul that could be interpreted to mean the state would include sausage made in Minnesota would be subject to sales tax.<BR><BR>Yep. Someone came up with a sausage tax.<BR><BR>Now there are plenty of goofy bills introduced each session and we can only hope this is one of those bills that has no future. <BR><BR>Both of our guys in St. Paul were made aware of this issue and with Rep. David Dill on the House tax committee, the so-called sausage tax will be dead on arrival. <BR><BR>For those who don’t pay attention to such details, in Minnesota most food is exempt from sales tax. Candy is a different story as are a number of prepared foods. And of course, marshmallows are taxable, but that’s a law the Stay-Puff Marshmallow Man is still fighting. <BR><BR>But a tax on sausage? Not even the King of England came up with that one. <BR><BR>Since many of us have freezers full of venison sausage, this is an issue near to our pocketbooks. We already pay the state for the ability to hunt deer, it makes no sense to tax us when we eat the meat as well.<BR><BR>Most guys who are deer hunters are connoisseurs of fine sausage. For me, the wild rice venison brat is top shelf material in my freezer.<BR><BR>Oh sure, I enjoy the traditional Polish and the delectable delights and there’s something special about browning up some breakfast sausage with a few eggs thrown in for good taste. <BR><BR>Personally I think potato sausage is a meal that should be on the menu at least once a week. And I know blood sausage lovers who have a meal or two a week on a regular basis.<BR><BR>There are other sausage variations as well but there should not be, no, there should never be a tax on sausage. It’s just not right.<BR><BR>Deer hunters especially are an economic engine with the different clothing, gadgets, scents, shells and whatever else we can buy making cash registers ring all fall. <BR><BR>We pay tax on many of those items and almost never do we complain about it. However, mess with our sausage and you’re going to hear about it with both barrels. <BR><BR>We are fortunate Mr. Dill and Mr. Bakk have ponied up a few times when they picked up their deer sausage at their local grocery store. Like us, the thought of giving the state a share is beyond a bad feeling, it’s nearly a cardinal sin.<BR><BR>So whoever had the nutso idea of putting a tax on a top food for many in our state, go bother someone else. <BR><BR>We don’t want a tax on our food any more than we want CWD to appear up here. <BR><BR>And for those senators and representatives who beg to differ, an invitation is extended to come up north to see and taste what we’re talking about.<BR><BR>We’d have to give these folk a proper introduction to the subject and also, the meaning of a key sausage word, clinker. <BR><BR>Clinker is reserved for those times when the pot of water and Polish has been sitting for a bit too long on the stove. These sausage are usually tough enough to pound nails with them. Some say those long-term sausages can make a clinking sound on the edge of a metal pot.<BR><BR>We know that clinker would be a good term for the bill being proposed in St. Paul to tax sausage. Some would say that comparing a clinker to this bill is an insult to sausage. We’ll see how it all shakes out after we put Dill on it.