Democratic House Leader Craig Fitzhugh has proposed to reduce the punishing sales tax on groceries during the upcoming legislative session.
Tax collections in our state have exceeded expectations for 16 straight months. In October alone, Tennessee’s sales tax raked in $16 million more from taxpayers than what Gov. Bill Haslam budgeted for.
Citizens are giving more to their state government, yet people in Tennessee are still suffering from high unemployment, high gas prices and increasing poverty.
If the government has a surplus in revenue, I think it should go back to the people of our state—especially in these tough times. That’s why my Democratic colleagues and I are sponsoring a bill to reduce the sales tax on food.
The Tennessee Democratic Party has set up a website for interested Tennesseans to sign a petition supporting Representative Fitzhugh’s move. Anybody with access to a computer can take part. Are you tired of obsessively clippinig coupons and buying the cheapest generic products, only to find that you still
don’t have enough in the pantry? Get on board and start letting your legislators know!
Tennesseans for Fair Taxation, a dedicated, hard-working citizens’ group, has assembled the following eye-opening facts:
- Tennessee is one of only a handful of states that still tax groceries.
- Tennessee has more border states than any other state in the nation.
- Over half of Tennessee residents live in counties bordering another state.
- Every single state bordering Tennessee has a lower sales tax.
- Every day people drive across the border or go on-line to avoid the sales tax.
Well, how about that? Those of us who can’t afford the gas to cross the state line have to pay a cruel tax just to eat. The rich, of course, don’t really need to bother. They can’t eat any more food than we do, and the tax is just pocket change to them. We are punished for being poor.
The Tennessee Republican Party has already announced it will oppose the Fitzhugh measure. They are busy trying to ease the tax burdens of the rich by phasing out the Hall Income Tax, which most Tennesseans haven’t even heard of. That’s because it is a tax on investment earnings, which our state fathers in 1870 realized was remarkably easy to conceal. About a third of this highly specialized tax goes to the communities that paid it. Among the principal beneficieries are Forrest Hills, Belle Meade, Allardt, Lookout Mountain, Walden, and Slayden.
The concern expressed by Senator Ron Ramsey is that 48% of the people affected by the tax are senior citizens, and he does not want to rob them of their old age nest egg. – What about us seniors who have already seen our nest egg decimated and now sometimes have to choose between food and medicine?