Representative Weaver Votes to Reduce Sales Tax on Food

April 6, 2013
Dwayne Page
State Representative Terri Lynn Weaver

State Representative Terri Lynn Weaver said Friday during her "Coffee and Conversations" town hall meeting in Smithville that she voted for cutting the state sales tax on groceries to five percent but believes that's as low as it should go.

In fact the state House unanimously approved Governor Bill Haslam's proposal to cut the state's sales tax on groceries. State Representative Mark Pody joined Weaver in voting for the bill.

If the plan is approved by the Senate, the state's tax on groceries will drop by a quarter percentage point, to 5 percent. Lawmakers last year enacted a cut of the same amount.

The state's sales tax on non food items is 7 percent.

The tax reduction is projected to cost the state about $23 million in state revenue — or an average annual tax savings of about $3.56 for each Tennessean.

"It'll be a flat 5% and I think that is probably where it is going to stay. I don't think I can support it below that," said Representative Weaver. "We're eliminating a lot of taxes, which is good. Its made Tennessee very attractive to people to come and live here. But I believe everybody should have some skin in the game on taxes and the food tax is the only way we can do that at this point. We've got to have revenue in or we can't pay for some of the things people are used to having," said Representative Weaver.

The companion bill is awaiting a vote in the Senate Finance Committee and is not expected to find much opposition.

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