In this issue

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review

Tax Heavens -- and Hells -- for Travelers

By Sandra Block

Here are the five cities that impose the heftiest average tax burdens on travelers and tourists, and the five that impose the least

JewishWorldReview.com | Does your summer family vacation budget include a line item for taxes? It should, because depending on your destination, taxes on hotels, rental cars and restaurant meals could add 35% to your getaway bill.

Taxes on travel and tourism have been on the rise since the 1990s and now cost travelers nearly $30 per day, on average, in the most popular destination cities, according to the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA). That means a family of four that plans to spend $1,000 for their trip could end up spending $100 or $200 more than they expected because of taxes, says Joseph Bates, the GBTA's vice-president for research.

Here are the five cities that impose the heftiest average tax burdens on travelers and tourists, and the five that impose the least, based on data from the GBTA's annual survey of 50 top U.S. travel destinations and Kiplinger's State-by-State Tax Guide. With the help of TripAdvisor's list of top U.S. destinations, we then filtered out cities that are skewed toward business travelers. In addition to taxes on hotels, rental cars and restaurant meals, we included state gas taxes and state excise taxes (also known as sin taxes) on beer, wine and liquor.

Hotel tax: 16%

Rental-car tax: 24.82%

Gas tax: $0.39 per gallon

Tax on restaurant meals: 10.75%

Beer: $0.23 per gallon

Wine: $1.39 per gallon

Liquor: $8.55 per gallon

The City of Big Shoulders muscles to the top when it comes to taxing travelers. A major contributor is the city's nearly 25% tax on daily rental-car rates. Filling up that rental car will cost you, too: With a state tax of 39 cents per gallon, gas prices in the Chicago area are among the highest in the U.S. Ouch!

Hotel tax: 18.07%

Rental-car tax: 19.88%

Gas tax: $0.50 per gallon

Tax on restaurant meals: 8.88%

Beer: $0.14 per gallon

Wine: $0.30 per gallon

Liquor: $6.44 per gallon

Most tourists know that the Big Apple is a pricey place to stay, but you may not realize how expensive it is until you get your hotel bill. New York imposes an 18.07% tax on hotel rooms, boosting the average cost of a one-night stay to more than $330. Rental-car taxes are steep, too, plus you'll pay an 18.4% tax on parking in a Manhattan garage (the median rate in midtown is north of $41 a day). Family trip? You're probably better off buying your entourage a subway pass ($30 for a seven-day MetroCard) instead.

Hotel tax: 14.5%

Rental-car tax: 23.78%

Tax on restaurant meals: 7%

Gas tax: $0.24 per gallon

Beer: $0.11 per gallon

Wine: $0.55 per gallon

Liquor: $4.05 per gallon


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You may want to tour historic Beantown on foot. Levies on rental cars soar to nearly 24% of your daily rate when a $10-per-day local rental-car fee is factored in. While Boston imposes an excise tax on beer, wine and liquor, alcoholic beverages are exempt from sales taxes, thanks to a voter initiative approved in 2011. Keep in mind that most cities are imposing sales taxes on alcohol in addition to the sin taxes listed.

Hotel tax: 15.60%

Rental-car tax: 17.2%

Tax on restaurant meals: 9.5%

Gas tax: $0.38 per gallon

Beer: $0.26 per gallon

Wine: $0.87 per gallon ($1.72 per gallon for alcohol content above 14%)

Liquor: $26.45 per gallon

If you want to rent a car to tour the city and surrounding areas, make sure you factor in a rental-car tax of more than 17%. Washington also imposes above-average state gas taxes. In 2012, the Evergreen State privatized liquor sales but coupled the move with a tax increase on distilled spirits of up to $35.22 per gallon. The tax is paid by commercial establishments, but you can bet they're sharing some of the pain with customers.

Hotel tax: 17.62%

Rental-car tax: 13.25%

Tax on restaurant meals: 9.25%

Gas tax: $0.21 per gallon

Beer: $1.29 per gallon

Wine: $1.21 per gallon

Liquor: $4.40 per gallon

Nashville may be the capital of country music, but if you're a tourist, prepare to pay big-city taxes. Music City USA charges a $2.50-per-night hotel occupancy tax on top of sales taxes, boosting the total accommodations tax to more than 17%. Taxes on restaurant meals are even higher than they are in New York. On the plus side, Tennessee's gas taxes are below the national average.


Hotel tax: 12.5%

Rental-car tax: 17%

Tax on restaurant meals: 0%

Gas tax: $0.31 per gallon

Beer: $0.08 per gallon

Wine: $0.67 per gallon

Liquor: $22.73 per gallon

With no state sales tax, Portland (Ore.) is a destination city that is also a shopper's paradise. You won't pay sales tax on restaurant meals, either. Hotel taxes in the City of Roses fall below the average for the GBTA's top 50 U.S. destination cities. Driving, though, will cost you: Rental-car and gas taxes are above average. In addition, you may want to skip martinis in favor of wine or beer. Oregon's excise tax on liquor is nearly $23 a gallon.

Hotel tax: 12.5%

Rental-car tax: 10.01%

Tax on restaurant meals: 6.5%

Gas tax: $0.35 per gallon

Beer: $0.48 per gallon

Wine: $2.25 per gallon

Liquor: $6.50 per gallon

Sure, you may spend a bundle at the Magic Kingdom, Disney MGM and SeaWorld, but Florida's low sales taxes may help to keep your costs in check. Florida tacks a $2-a-day surcharge on rental cars, but Orlando's rental-car tax is still below average for major destination cities, according to the GBTA.

Hotel tax: 13%

Rental-car tax: 8%

Tax on restaurant meals: 8%

Gas tax: $0.53 per gallon

Beer: $0.20 per gallon

Wine: $0.20 per gallon ($0.30 for sparkling wine)

Liquor: $3.30 per gallon

San Diego stays classy by charging one of the lowest tax rates for rental cars of all major destination cities. Taxes on hotel stays are below average, too. However, you'll probably want to rent a fuel-efficient car. California's gas tax is the highest in the U.S.

Hotel tax: 13%

Rental-car tax: 10.51%

Tax on restaurant meals: 9%

Gas tax: $0.35 per gallon

Beer: $0.48 per gallon

Wine: $2.25 per gallon

Liquor: $6.50 per gallon

Visitors to Miami also benefit from Florida's low tax climate. Taxes on hotels and rental cars are below average for major destination cities in the GBTA survey. But in most parts of Miami-Dade County, you'll pay a 2% Tourist Development surtax on food and beverages purchased at restaurants, hotels, bars and nightclubs.

Hotel tax: 12.27%

Rental-car tax: 14.68%

Tax on restaurant meals: 8.3%

Gas tax: $0.19 per gallon

Beer: $0.16 per gallon

Wine: $0.84 per gallon

Liquor: $3 per gallon

Arizona's low gas tax means you can afford to fill up and drive to the Grand Canyon. At day's end, go ahead and have a margarita: Phoenix's liquor taxes, along with taxes on wine and beer, are lower than those charged in many other big cities.

Traveling? Better Budget for Taxes

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Sandra Block is a senior associate editor at Kiplinger's Personal Finance magazine.

All contents copyright 2013 Kiplinger's Personal Finance Distributed by Tribune Media Services. All rights reserved.