The Tennessee General Assembly approved a sales-tax holiday on food and food ingredients beginning on Aug. 1 at 12:01 a.m. and ending on Aug. 31 at 11:59 p.m.
In an effort to combat the inflation that people are experiencing nationwide, earlier this year, Gov. Bill Lee signed into law the act that will exempt specific food items from state sales tax during the month of August, thus allowing Tennesseans to experience a little financial relief.
“As Americans see their cost-of-living skyrocket amid historic inflation, suspending the grocery tax is the most effective way to provide direct relief to every Tennessean,” said Lee. “Our state has the ability to put dollars back in the pockets of hard-working Tennesseans, and I thank members of the General Assembly for their continued partnership in maintaining our fiscally-conservative approach.”
But as shoppers take advantage of the August tax break, it should be noted that not all grocery products are included in the relief effort.
Although both food and food ingredients are a part of the upcoming tax holiday, there are a few exceptions. The products that are excluded from the tax free list are alcoholic beverages, tobacco, candy, dietary supplements, and prepared foods, as well as food purchased from micro markets or vending machines.
With the cost of living having exponentially risen over the last several months, Foodland shoppers in Hartsville are welcoming the upcoming grocery tax holiday.
“It (the tax holiday) will save money while inflation is up,” said Foodland shopper Sierra Lee. “The cost of everything is getting so high. It will save a little money that we can put towards something else.”
Grandmother and Foodland shopper Melanie Knight welcomes the tax suspension, which will help her provide for her family.
“It (the tax suspension) will be lovely,” Knight said. “I have several grandchildren that come over during the summer, and as you can see, I’m buying stuff for them today.”
However, shoppers may not be the only ones experiencing the benefits of suspending the grocery tax. Businesses like grocery stores may also profit from this break as customers stock up on needed food items.
“I welcome people to come in and stock up and take advantage of this,” said Foodland Assistant Store Manager Mark Presley. “I see this as a positive. People can take advantage of stocking up on groceries. Every little bit helps, especially the stuff they can stock up on like frozen dinners and canned goods. They might as well get it when they don’t have to pay sales tax on it.”
The upcoming sales tax holiday on food will follow Tennessee’s tax-free weekend on clothing, school supplies, and computers, which will begin at 12:01 a.m. on July 29 and end at 11:59 on July 31.