Gov. Bill Lee proposes 30-day grocery tax suspension instead of gas tax cut


Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee unveiled a proposal to suspend state and local grocery sales taxes for 30 days in an effort to combat rising inflation rates.

The state has a 4% tax on food items, specifically, food that’s not served as a ready-to-eat meal. The state defines food and food ingredients as “things you can eat that are consumed for taste and nutritional value. Several local governments in Tennessee charge additional taxes on top of that.

The proposal to suspend grocery taxes will be included in the Fiscal Year 2022-2023 budget amendment that will be presented on March 29.

Democratic lawmakers have been pushing for a gas tax suspension in Tennessee similar to a gas tax cut in neighboring Georgia. Republicans have argued that suspending the gas tax is not efficient or practical.

Gov. Bill Lee said that targeting food taxes is a better option in controlling inflation.

As Americans see their cost-of-living skyrocket amid historic inflation, suspending the grocery tax is the most effective way to provide direct relief to every Tennessean. Our state has the ability to put dollars back in the pockets of hardworking Tennesseans, and I thank members of the General Assembly for their continued partnership in maintaining our fiscally conservative approach.

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