Mastrofrancesco Slams Grocery Tax Implementation

Posted on September 13, 2019


HARTFORD – In another blow to the taxpayers of Connecticut, State Rep. Gale Mastrofrancesco (R-80) along with Senate and House Republican colleagues announced newly released details on a grocery store tax included in the Democrat state budget set to go into effect ‪October 1, 2019‬, which could potentially encompass all cooked food from a rotisserie chicken to eight ounces of soup.

The Democrat-approved 7.35% tax, which Rep. Mastrofrancesco opposed in the House of Representatives, will be applied to a long list of food items that have never been taxed when sold in grocery stores before, according to the state Department of Revenue Services policy statement issued this week.

The tax will apply to not only prepared meals such as sandwiches, deli salads, pizza and hot buffet items, but also small packages of snacks, loose baked goods, wrapped salads, small servings of ice cream, and meal replacement bars. It also applies to fountain drinks including coffee and any beverage sold with a taxable “meal.”

“The breath and scope of items that will now be included in this new tax hike is truly appalling. This will only hurt the working and middle class families of Southington and Wolcott, taking more and more of their hard-earned money” said Rep. Mastrofrancesco. “The grocery tax will punish those that can afford it the least.”

Mastrofrancesco mentioned how Gov. Lamont assured Connecticut residents in February that the grocery tax proposal was dead. In fact, Gov. Lamont says it was ‘never alive’ according to the Hartford Courant.

“This is deeply concerning that this news comes out 3 months after we debated the state budget,” said Rep. Mastrofrancesco. “The majority party crafted this state budget and included this ‘grocery’ language that will hurt all Connecticut families. They need to fix it or will they continue to pass tax increases that punish working families in Connecticut?”

Earlier this year, Democrat lawmakers labeled the new tax as only a 1% tax increase on items already taxed at 6.35%, but the DRS statement clarifies that the new 7.35% tax will also apply to many food items that have never been taxed at all before when sold in grocery stores.

The DRS document explains that items sold at restaurants and eateries currently taxed at 6.35% will see a 1% tax increase. It also clarifies that the total 7.35% tax rate will also be effective in grocery stores, “which previously taxed meals in a different manner than other eating establishments.”

Read the Department of Revenue Services memo here: