June 4, 2012

Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam on Monday traveled to Marion County to sign legislation to reduce the state portion of the sales tax on groceries from 5.5 percent to 5.25 percent.

Governor Haslam held a ceremonial bill signing at the locally- and independently-owned Smith Brothers Grocery in Whitwell, Tn.

“We’re focused on making state government more efficient and more effective while reducing the cost to taxpayers,” Governor Haslam said. “The sales tax on food touches all Tennesseans, and this is an effort to lower the burden. I applaud the General Assembly for passing this important piece of legislation this year.”

The bill, SB 3763/HB 3761, was introduced by the governor and was one of three tax cuts passed by the legislature and signed by Haslam this year as the state continues its work toward providing the best customer service at the lowest possible cost to taxpayers.

The governor was joined for the event by bill sponsor House Majority Leader Gerald McCormick (R-Chattanooga), Rep. David Alexander (R-Winchester) and Marion County Mayor John Graham. Sen. Mark Norris (R-Collierville) sponsored the bill in the Senate.

Governor Haslam included $21.3 million in the FY 2012-2013 state budget to fund the legislation.

The reduced tax rate does not apply to prepared foods such as a meal at a restaurant, candy, alcoholic beverages or tobacco.

Representative Scott DesJarlais (Tn.-04) attended the signing.

“I applaud Governor Haslam and the Tennessee General Assembly for their ongoing efforts to ensure that hardworking Tennesseans get to keep more of their own money in their pockets,” said Rep. DesJarlais. “Tennessee should serve as an example to Washington that if you control government spending, you can cut taxes and still have balanced budgets.”

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