‘A burden on Utahns’: How new bills would lower the cost of groceries if passed

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) — Groceries may soon be cheaper thanks to two new bills making their way through the Utah legislature.

The texts of the two bills indicate that they will eliminate the state tax on food and food ingredients.

Both state representatives, Rosemary Lesser, a Democrat, and Judy Rohner, a Republican, said they needed their constituents to support that.

“The food tax is a burden on the people of Utah,” Rep. Lesser said. “People desperately need help with their food purchases and that’s what this bill hopes to accomplish.”

There are two bills, HB 203 and HB 165, which promise almost exactly the same thing.

If passed, they would both remove the three percent state tax on food and all food ingredients.

The only remaining tax would be the local grocery tax.

“The message from community members has been incredibly enthusiastic and it’s about people from all walks of life,” Rep. Lesser said.

Representative Lesser and Representative Rohner agree on many points in their invoices.

Rep. Rohner sent ABC 4 this statement explaining why she sponsored HB 203:

“As one of the sponsors of the 2019 Utah Tax Referendum, the public outcry is that they wanted the state food tax removed. I’m looking into this issue.”

Rep. Lesser agreed and said she used to spend countless evenings at the grocery store talking to people about it even before she became a lawmaker.

“For my bill, I embrace simplicity,” Rep. Lesser said. “Just turn it off at checkout. This is when people need money. They need money now.

Rep. Rohner also announced whether the bill would pass.

She said this in a statement to ABC4:

“Right now it’s an uphill battle. Residents across the state should contact their legislators and ask them to support HB203.

The Utah Taxpayers Association also stepped in on Monday and sent this to ABC 4:

“We realize this is an unpopular opinion for us, but it is bad tax policy. Eliminating the tax mainly helps the wealthy. It is the most stable source of revenue for states and local communities. SNAP recipients don’t pay sales tax when they buy food anyway, so you’re not helping them. »

Bills still have a long way to go in the legislative process.

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