Local Senator Pushing Repeal of State’s Grocery Tax

A local lawmaker is pushing to repeal the state’s four percent grocery tax.

Money from the tax is used to fund the state’s education. But if the repeal passes, that could mean more money in your pocket.

The big question is how that money would be replaced. Lawmakers have tried for years to repeal the grocery tax, but have not had success.

Senator Clyde Chambliss says he’s is hoping 2020 will be different.

“We’re one of only three states that do tax groceries,” Chambliss said.

The state’s grocery tax generates roughly 400 million dollars each year for education. Without that money, schools wouldn’t be funded.

Chambless says he’s still researching how he plans to replace that money for his proposal.

“There’s a number of different ways to do it and how to replace the revenue is the biggest issue. We’re trying to figure out which is the best of those ways, and I’m waiting to get the research back from our analyst right now,” Chambliss said.

Alabama News Network’s Political Analyst Steve Flowers said there could be more support for the repeal this year when the legislative session starts in February.

“One thing that gives it some credibility and maybe some legs this year is usually it’s offered by a democratic legislator, who in the minority in the legislature and would have a hard time passing it. In this case, you have one of the most republican and one of the most prominent republicans in the state Senate offering the tax bill,” Flowers said.

“Say it’s eight percent where you live- if this is successful, and instead of it being eight percent, it would then be four percent. And that four percent are the local governments tax. The four percent state tax would be removed so it cuts your tax bill for groceries in half,” Chambliss said.

Chambliss said he should have a more concrete plan when the legislation session rolls around.

There’s still a long process before this could become an amendment.
Senator Chambliss would have to introduce that bill. It would have to pass committee, both the Senate and House.
Finally, it would have to be approved by voters in November.

The legislative session begins February 4th.

Categories: Montgomery, News