You may have heard or read in the news last week about the possibility of a new grocery tax in Connecticut.
It is not happening.
Together with my Senate Democratic colleagues we told the administration to change its incorrect reading of the budget and not tax groceries. After our united stand, the administration fixed its error and groceries will remain untaxed.
The misinterpretation by the state Department of Revenue Services (DRS), which is an executive branch agency, of a few words in the state budget has caused all of us in this state unnecessary anxiety and confusion.
In addition to stopping this tax, Senate Democrats have asked for the Finance, Revenue and Bonding Committee to pursue with DRS how and why its position and interpretation of the budget changed. During budget negotiations nonpartisan staff, partisan staff and the staff of the Governor all agreed on the legal interpretation of the budget. We need to get to the bottom of how and why DRS came to this new and incorrect position.
Just to be clear, nearly every single one of the groceries you now buy in your local supermarket has not been taxed since Connecticut created its sales tax in 1947. That’s 72 years of no taxes on your groceries. And that’s not going to change.
There are a handful of items for sale in some grocery stores – the types of ‘prepared foods’ that you might also buy at a restaurant or a fast-food establishment – that have almost always been subject to the 6.35% sales tax. That list is not going to change. We think this is a matter of fairness for small business owners who own local restaurants and employ local residents.
So, to recap:
- Senate Democrats stopped talk of a general grocery tax when it was one of a number of items being considered by the administration in early January.
- Senate Democrats stopped any grocery tax from being included in the state budget.
- Senate Democrats stopped DRS from creating a new grocery tax earlier this month.
- Senate Democrats will stop the creation of any grocery tax if anyone tries to propose one in the future.
Thank you for reaching out and standing with us as we fight against this regressive tax.