A constitutional amendment moving in the Alabama Legislature would remove the state sales tax on groceries. Several Florida food stores along the Stateline are watching the outcome of the legislation.
Two-decades-ago, Registered Nurse Karen Rockett took over her family's grocery business in Walton County's Darlington Community.
Several miles from the Stateline, many of her customers are from Alabama. There, they don't pay any state sales' tax on necessary food items like milk and eggs. In Alabama, there's a four-cent state sales tax on all groceries.
"Yes, we do get in a number of customers from Alabama who say there's no sales tax on groceries here, and that's why they like to shop for food in Florida," Rockett said.
Florida's sales tax is in effect for non-essential food items like candy. In Florida's Gaskin Community, a border town on the Geneva/Walton line, folks are looking to save every penny with the skyrocketing cost of food.
Debra Pridgen, with Dixie Dandy said, "Some business owners say that not having the grocery sales tax in Florida helps make it more of a level playing field."
"Sometimes, I’m working, and someone from Alabama will come in and say that they are in Florida to buy their groceries. It’s something quite honestly that brings us business," she adds.
Pam Roberts Leonia's General Store said, “I think it's a great thing that food is often cheaper here in Florida due to the lack of tax structure"
Alabama lawmakers opposed to the removal of the state sales tax on groceries, say it'll end the state income tax deduction for federal taxes.