Tennessee shoppers brace for impact of grocery tax suspension ending

Published: Oct. 31, 2023 at 11:07 PM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Stores were busy Tuesday as many people stocked up to get last items tax-free.

“I’m sad, it’s going to feel like everything is going up,” a shopper said.

Shoppers said even if they do stock up, they are still bracing for the impacts of the change, which is an impact they are worried about.

“I think they should keep it that way,” said another shopper.

Tuesday marks the end of a three-month tax break on groceries. Action News 5 spoke with shoppers, and many are not happy about the change.

“You know groceries are so high, regardless of whether they are tax-free or not tax-free. It’s a struggle to eat,” said Tamoni Onan.

Onan was just one of many other shoppers stocking up. She said she is bracing for her grocery bill to increase.

“I mean, just this little bit of groceries right here was $80, and you know it’s nothing,” said Onan. “I can’t imagine, you know, that’s another 8 bucks.”

The Tennessee Works Tax Act included the grocery tax suspension. The suspension allowed food items and ingredients to be bought tax-free. This led Tennesseans to save an estimated $273 million on groceries.

Those are savings shoppers say are needed right now.

“This is the only thing that helps unless they take the prices down,” said one shopper.

Governor Bill Lee said his office would consider a similar tax break in the future.

“Until the economy gets better, we’ve got to have some type of refuge somewhere, so hopefully it will. Maybe someone will listen, maybe they will hear it,” Onan said.

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