Today is Valentine’s Day. Romantics all over the nation have spent the week buying gifts and making dinner plans, all at a considerable price. The National Retail Federation estimates consumer spending on Valentine’s Day will hit $17.3 billion this year. This means the average person can expect to spend $133.91 to celebrate the holiday.
That price is driven up by an unexpected third wheel – Uncle Sam. For every aspect of the day spent with that special someone, government taxes and fees drive up the cost.
Roses & a Valentine: A must have. An estimated 233 million roses are grown for Valentine’s Day, and consumers will spend $1.9 billion on flowers. Cards will accompany the flowers: 145 million Valentine’s cards will be purchased for the occasion. The government will cash in $1.1 billion off the flowers and cards
Dinner: For three? $3.5 billion is spent dining out on Valentine’s Day, but 31% of the cost of the bill comes from government taxes.
Wine: If you’ve been saving a nice bottle of wine for the occasion, be sure to savor it- - 33% of this purchase is due to government costs.
Chocolate: Consumers will spend nearly $1.3 billion on chocolate. Of this, 31% will be paid to the government. Your dessert just got a little less sweet.
Jewelry: In 2013,6 million people expected or planned a marriage proposal on Valentine’s Day. This year, it is projected that $3.9 billion will be spent on diamonds, gold, and silver. The government drives of the price of your most important purchase, making up 36% of the cost, so choose wisely.
Cell Phones: If you’re in a long-distance relationship and can’t travel to see your sweetheart, hopefully you’ll still be able to give them a call. You might want to keep it short and sweet: Uncle Sam will be on the line as well, and he’ll be responsible for 40% of the cost of your bill.
Long Distance: Making a surprise visit to your long-distance loved one? Whether you’re driving or flying, you won’t be alone. 45% of the cost of gasoline is the result of government taxation, while other taxes and fees account for 44% of the cost of airfare. An annoying backseat driver or snoring seat mate would be better than the travel companionship offered by Uncle Sam.
Single or steady, taxpayers will remain heartbroken this year when it comes to the costs imposed by the government.