Rep. O’Dea: “Expect to Pay More for Groceries Beginning October 1st”

Posted on September 13, 2019 by admin


HARTFORD – State Representative Tom O’Dea (R-New Canaan, Wilton), Deputy Republican Leader-at-Large, calls Democrats’ 7.35% tax on prepared meals a direct burden on the middle and working class residents of Connecticut. This tax was included in the 2020-2021 budget passed this year on May 4th without a single Republican vote.

“When Governor Lamont proposed a grocery tax earlier this year, it was not a popular idea. Nevertheless, Democrat legislators found a way to sneak it into the budget that passed in May without a single Republican vote. We knew these new taxes would hit the middle class on consumer staples. Now, we will all pay more for a sandwich, grinder, wrap, slice of pizza, soup, prepared bagel, macaroni, granola bar, and so much more. Combined with all the new mandates on small businesses, this session was one of the most damaging to Connecticut’s economy in decades, if not ever. We went from a 2017 bi-partisan budget that created one of the biggest surpluses in our history back to the old ways of one party rule and ignoring the minority party simply because they could,” said Representative O’Dea.

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

Earlier this year, Democratic lawmakers labeled the new tax as only a 1% tax increase on items already taxed at 6.35%, but a recently released DRS document clarifies that the new 7.35% tax will also apply to many food items that had never been taxed at all when sold in grocery stores. The policy also results in a tax increase on all food items sold by restaurants and eating establishments.

The new 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.”

Added Rep. O’Dea, “To everyone living, working, raising a family or running a business in Connecticut, please ask your elected state representatives and senators to go back to legislating in a bi-partisan manner. If a proposed budget or law can’t get a single vote from the minority party, it should not be passed. We need to pass legislation and state budgets that consider what is in everyone’s best interest.”