Category Archive 'Star Gazing'

28 Jan 2020

New York State Now Charges to Look at the Stars

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Vincent van Gogh, The Starry Night, 1889, Museum of Modern Art.

If you drive a car, I’ll tax the street.
If you try to sit, I’ll tax your seat.
If you get too cold, I’ll tax the heat.
If you take a walk, I’ll tax your feet.
‘Cause I’m the taxman, yeah, I’m the taxman.

The Beatles

The taxman is at his very worst in New York State, as Red State reports:

New York State recently passed a law requiring citizens to obtain a permit if they wish to gaze at the stars in public parks. No, really. You read that right. In New York, you must pay for a license to look at the freaking stars.

The Free Thought Project first reported on the story, explaining that “If citizens of the state wish to look up at the sky and view the stars at one of New York’s public parks, they will first have to obtain a ‘Stargazing permit.’” The site pointed out that pollution in the sky makes it more difficult for New Yorkers in “highly populated areas” to see the sky at night, so they travel to remote areas, many of which are located in state parks.

The state is charging residents $35 to become a fully-licensed stargazer allowed to view the stars between January and December of the year. If you are not lucky enough to be a New York resident and you are just visiting, you will have to fork over $60 for the privilege of admiring your favorite constellation in the night sky. We were not able to find out how much it costs to wish upon a star, but we can be sure that it ain’t cheap. Okay, that last part was a joke — hopefully.


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