Advocates rally against Alabama’s tax on groceries

A rally was held in the Statehouse Tuesday afternoon where advocates voiced their support for a...
A rally was held in the Statehouse Tuesday afternoon where advocates voiced their support for a bill to remove the state tax on groceries.(Erin Davis)
Published: Mar. 15, 2022 at 6:33 PM CDT|Updated: Mar. 15, 2022 at 9:18 PM CDT
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - A rally was held in the Statehouse Tuesday afternoon where advocates voiced their support for a bill to remove the state tax on groceries.

Alabama is one of three states that still has this tax. The money generated from the tax goes to the education trust fund.

“Food is the most basic of human need,” said the Rev. Carolyn Foster with Alabama Arise.

“No one wants to be responsible for cutting our children’s education,” said Republican Sen. Andrew Jones, sponsor of SB43.

It’s a balancing act of getting rid of the 4% tax on groceries while making sure funding still goes to the state’s education trust fund. Lawmakers who spoke at the rally say with their legislation that is possible.

“I came up with the idea to offset the two revenues,” Jones said.

Jones’ bill puts a cap on the federal income tax deduction - $4,000 for individuals and $8,000 for couples who file together.

“It’s an unfair tax break that disproportionately lowers taxes for upper income earners,” said Robyn Hyden, executive director of Alabama Arise.

Currently, the grocery tax makes up a little less than $500 million of the education trust fund. With Jones’ bill, the fund risks losing some of that.

“That’s going to depend on a lot of factors: what the exact number is, what people’s incomes are, how they fluctuate,” Jones said.

The grocery tax is a priority item for House Democrats but has bipartisan support.

“Because this is not a Democratic issue. It’s not a Republican issue. It’s a people’s issue,” said Rep. Penni McClammy, a Democrat.

The bill hasn’t made it to a committee, but supporters remain hopeful that it will pass before the session ends.

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