1. Independence Day

    Firework Bans Lifted for Tax Revenue

    Fireworks light up the night sky Monday, July 3, 2006, in Butte, Mont. The display, put on by Big Sky Fireworks of White Sulphur Springs, was the largest of 17 shows that Big Sky Fireworks put on across Montana.

    Lisa Kunkel / AP Photo

    Setting of fireworks is now patriotic in more ways than one: It can help put your local government's budget in the black. As cities and counties around the country struggle to make ends meet, many are lifting old restrictions on fireworks. A 65-year-old ban in Hawkins Country, Tenn., was lifted in the hopes it would generate as much as $200,000 in annual permit fees and sales tax revenue. Pennsylvania is trying to balance safety with revenue by allowing only non-Pennsylvanians to buy heavy duty fireworks. The industry generated $925 million in sales in 2010.

    Read it at The New York Times