Posted on September 12, 2019 by jdooley
HARTFORD – Today Senate and House Republican lawmakers held a press conference regarding newly released details on the “meals tax” included in the Democrat state budget set to go into effect October 1, 2019.
According to a Department of Revenue Services policy statement issued this week, the Democrat-approved 7.35% tax will be applied to a long list of food items that have never been taxed when sold in grocery stores before.
The 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 including coffee and any beverage sold with a taxable “meal.”
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 policy also results in a tax increase on food items sold by restaurants and eating establishments.
“Once again, the Democrat budget continues to hurt working and middle class families, taking more and more out of people’s wallets every day,” said Senate Republican Leader Len Fasano and Deputy House Republican Leader Vincent Candelora.
“The public was outraged when the governor proposed a 2% tax on groceries. But Democrats went ahead and approved a 7.35% tax on certain grocery items anyway. It’s mind boggling. This tax is going to hurt the working parents picking up dinner for their family. It’s going to hurt seniors on fixed incomes who may not always feel up to cooking a full meal but who can’t afford to go out to eat or get takeout. It’s a regressive tax increase that will be most harmful to those who are already struggling the most.”
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.”
DRS Examples of Taxable “Meals” (taxed at 7.35% in eating establishments AND grocery stores):
DRS Examples of Taxable Drinks (taxed at 7.35% in eating establishments AND grocery stores):