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Free Citizen

This writer espouses individual liberty, free markets, and limited government.

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Location: Jackson, Mississippi, United States

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Cut the Grocery Tax, Period

Mississippi has more low-income people than Idaho. If a 6 percent tax on groceries is a burden on Idahoans, isn't it safe to say that a 7 percent tax on groceries is a bigger burden on Mississippians?

Note that the Idaho proposal is not about raising one tax and lowering another, as is Mississippi's "tax swap" scheme, which would increase the tobacco tax and cut the grocery tax.

The Idaho legislature, by the way, is overwhelmingly Republican.

Associated Press | March 6, 2008

BOISE, Idaho (AP) - The House voted 61-8 Thursday to gradually increase rebates Idaho residents get to offset the 6 percent sales tax they pay on groceries.

The measure, which has won acceptance but not outright endorsement of Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter, now goes to the Senate.

Otter vetoed a measure a year ago that passed the House and Senate.

After Idaho lawmakers raised the sales tax to 6 percent in 2006 to help pay for property tax relief, they've been wrestling with trying to ease the increased burden on food - especially for low-income residents for whom such necessities take up a disproportionate share of the income.

Despite opposition from Democrats and Republicans who wanted to eliminate the tax on food completely, proponents said this would accomplish much of that over time.

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