/Grocery tax unpopular, but cutting it hasn’t been winner for politicians

Grocery tax unpopular, but cutting it hasn’t been winner for politicians

Multiple polls show that most Mississippians support lowering or eliminating the state’s grocery sales tax. A Chism Strategies/Millsaps poll earlier this year showed that almost 70 percent of Mississippians support reducing or eliminating the tax. According to a Mellman Group poll, 71% of Mississippians favored increasing the tax on cigarettes and lowering the grocery tax in 2006. However, politicians who have taken up the cause to reduce the 7 percent tax rate have not had a good result at a statewide scale. At the kickoff of his gubernatorial campaigns at Mississippi’s Civil Rights Museum, Attorney General Jim Hood mentioned three items. The first was the grocery sales tax. Hood stated that he wanted to see the repeal of the food sales tax. It’s difficult for families to make ends meets. Let’s make food more affordable.” Johnny DuPree (Democratic gubernatorial hopeful from Hattiesburg) made it a key part of his campaign to reduce or eliminate the grocery tax. The current Republican Governor defeated him convincingly. Phil Bryant was defeated by the current Republican Governor. However, other problems with the DuPree campaign were evident, including a lack of funds that may have overshadowed his message about the grocery tax. In 2006, then-Lt. Gov. Amy Tuck made the most of the effort to eliminate or reduce the tax. Amy Tuck, a Republican governor, split with her counterpart. Haley Barbour was also involved in the debate. Tuck suggested first eliminating the tax, then reducing it, and compensating the loss of revenue with an increase in the tax on cigarettes. At that time, the tax was 18 cents per packet, making it one of the lowest taxes in the country. The Legislature passed two separate bills that dealt with the issue using veto-proof margins. Barbour vetoed each bill and changed enough votes in Tuck’s Senate to maintain his veto. Tuck received a lot of praise for her efforts. Her efforts left Barbour’s Republican Party in Texas weaker. Although she never ran for another political office, many believed that she might be the first woman governor of the state. She decided to retire from politics. Barbour, who was a former tobacco lobbyist and a politician, agreed in his second term to an increase of the tobacco tax. However, the issue of reducing food tax was dropped. He claimed it was fair and effective. Others disagree, and claim it is more burdensome for the poor. While they argue that everyone needs and purchases certain groceries, it takes a higher percentage of income for a poor person to buy a gallon milk. Mississippi is the least developed state in the country and one of three states that impose the same sales tax on grocery items as other retail products. Thirty-eight other states do not impose a tax on food. Mississippi’s 7 percent food tax is the highest. Alabama has most of these areas. Alabama law permits local governments to impose their own grocery taxes. In some parts of Alabama, the combination of state and local taxes could result in a levy of up to 9 percent on food. Hood claims that it is still working on its proposal to reduce the food tax. It is important to consider how to replace the revenue lost to the state and cities by reducing the food tax. Already, the state is facing a revenue loss of over $700 million due to the 50 tax cuts that were passed in the eight previous sessions. It was estimated that the food tax generated $346 million in 2006, with $50 million going to cities. Hood claims that Hood’s plan will ensure that cities are “maintained whole.”_x000D