Advocacy Group Calls for End to Grocery Tax in Tennessee

Advocate Andy

Tennessee For All points out 60% of corporations in TN pay no state taxes

Advocacy group Tennessee For All this week called on state government to make permanent the grocery tax holiday that expired at the end of August. For one month, there were no sales taxes assessed on groceries in Tennessee as a result of a legislative move to forego the tax.

The group cited a study by the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) that noted that Tennessee residents pay among the highest grocery tax rates in the country.

Tennessee For All also noted Tennessee has a significant budget surplus - meaning the state can afford to forego the sales tax on groceries. Additionally, the group pointed to another study that indicates that 60% of Tennessee corporations filing state tax forms actually pay no state income taxes.

Tennessee For All has suggested that if corporations paid their fair share of state taxes, Tennessee families could never pay grocery taxes again.

Tennessee citizens are also speaking out on the issue.

The Rev. Francisco García, Assistant Chaplain at St. Augustine's Episcopal Chapel in Nashville, said, “Groceries are one of the biggest expenses for families and it’s not fair that they are paying taxes on basic needs while corporations are not paying their fair share. Getting rid of the grocery tax forever would be a huge help to families across Tennessee.”

“There’s no loophole for me to not pay taxes at the grocery store, I can’t think of any reason a profitable corporation should have a zero in their tax bill,” added Jaime Barks, a mother of two in Chattanooga.

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Andy Spears is a middle Tennessee writer and policy advocate. He reports on news around public policy issues - education, health care, consumer protection, and more.

Nashville, TN

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