Possible New Bill Could Remove State Tax on Groceries

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With rising gas and crop prices, many Wiregrass residents are struggling to make ends meet, especially when it comes to putting food on the table.

However, a proposed bill could help them save some cash, on groceries.

It’s almost payday for Sarah Lasey, but the money on her check has already been spent even before she's received it. "I get my paycheck on Friday and then I buy groceries and it's gone, literally gone,” she says. “And you know, you look on the tax on there and you pay $10 dollars to every hundred dollars, that's ridiculous."

But a new bill could help residents like Lasey save a few extra dollars when heading to the check out aisle.

Houston Co. Commission Chairman Mark Culver said, "The bill would remove some of the state sales tax off of food statewide so that when you go to the grocery store and you buy food, in Dothan's case you would only pay five cents, the local five cents instead of the nine you currently pay."

And, with the rising prices in the economy as it is right now, as far as it is with gas, many local residents say eliminating that four percent tax could be a huge help.

"I think it would be a good idea,” Lasey adds. “I mean we only pay income tax once a year and you know, we buy groceries weekly, monthly, everyday you know, so I really think it's a good idea."

Culver says the bill would be a large help to many community members; however, removing the four percent tax could raise other taxes. “What the bill also however is increase your income tax by removing the federal deduction."

However, that’s a risk Lasey is willing to take in an effort to save a little extra cash.

The bill now heads to the full House for debate.

Ultimately, it could end up before state voters in a referendum.

Removing the four percent tax could save consumers $320 million dollars each year; however, the bill could raise state income taxes by an estimated $345 million a year.

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