Alabama lawmaker looking to remove state grocery tax

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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WIAT) — State Senator Clyde Chambliss says he wants to look at removing the state’s tax on groceries this upcoming legislative session.

In previous years, there have been similar pieces of legislation. Right now, Alabamians pay a 4% tax on groceries plus other local taxes.

“The grocery tax is a tax on a basic necessity of life, it’s a tax on survival,” Chris Sanders with the nonprofit Alabama Arise said.

Sanders says this is an issue they’ve been pushing for years.

“This is a tax that driver folks in poverty deeper into poverty, it makes it tougher for folks that are struggling to make ends meet to put food on the table and provide for their families,” said Sanders.

Sen. Chambliss says Alabama is one of three states that tax groceries.

“There’s really no question about whether we should take it off, the question is how do you pay for taking it off. That’s the real research of what I am looking into now,” said Sen. Chambliss.

Chambliss says he plans to have a bill ready to go by the start of the legislative session.

“Those that are on the lower end of the wage earners, it is a signification part of their income, their groceries, their food,” said Chambliss.

Sanders supports removing the sales tax but wants to see a responsible replacement.

“If you got rid of that without replacing the money, you could be looking at cuts to K-12 and higher education,” said Sanders

Lawmakers return to Montgomery for the 2020 legislative session Feb. 4.

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