Household grocery budgets may get another break by midyear.
Governor Bill Haslam is keeping his promise to continue to lower the state sales tax on food.
He announced his plans for the 2013-2014 fiscal year at Monday's State of the State address.
“We cut the state portion of the sales on food from five-and-a-half to five-and-a-quarter percent. We're proposing to lower it to 5% this year,” he said.
Tennesseans pay state sales tax and local sales tax on food purchases.
The overall half percent drop to the state sales tax is part of Governor Haslam's three-year plan to lower food costs, calling it a “tax break that affects all Tennesseans.”
Shoppers at the Donelson Kroger told Nashville's News 2 they would welcome another tax break.
“I like that. Any savings is good,” said shopper Tammy Copeland.
Copeland said she shops every two weeks for her and her child and keeps a tight budget.
“I try to stay close to $100,” she said.
Debra Randall shops more often and spends more for her and her husband.
“About once a week [I spend] around $100 to $120,” she said.
Both Copeland and Randall both said they do what they can to keep costs down.
“I could tell a big savings when I use coupons,” Randall said.
“I look for deals and I also use coupons,” said Copeland. “It helps a great deal. I'm looking for saving as much as I can.”
If the governor's state sales tax cut is approved, a family spending $100 per week on food would pay $26 dollars less in taxes than two years ago.
It's not a big break, but it's a break nonetheless.
“I do appreciate him doing anything,” Randall said.
“I need that. I'll take it,” added Copeland.
The tax cut will cost the state. Lowering the state tax on food last year was expected to cost Tennessee $18 million in tax revenue for the fiscal year 2012-2013.
It is not known how much another cut would cost.
The governor's complete budget proposal is now in the hands of lawmakers.