Utah economy

Group calls on Utah to end sales tax on groceries

SALT LAKE CITY – A group of religious leaders, Democratic lawmakers and activists gathered in Salt Lake City on Wednesday afternoon to demand an end to the Utah sales tax on groceries.

“The Coalition of Religious Communities is here today to say that the amount of prescribed state taxes on groceries should be zero,” said Rev. Kimal James of Ogden First United Methodist Church.

Speakers said the tax weighs on low-income families and pointed out that Utah is one of only a dozen states to impose a sales tax on unprepared foods.

“The families who suffer most from this injustice are the working poor and families on fixed incomes,” said Reverend Vinnetta Golphin-Wilkerson of Granger Community Christian Church.

Utah levies a 1.75% sales tax on grocery store foods, which is lower than the standard 4.85% sales tax

The group said the Utah economy is doing so well and a budget surplus expected this to be the right time to eliminate the tax.

“We are asking our neighbors who represent us in the state legislature to do the right thing,” Golphin-Wilkerson said. “Do the right thing. Stop this food tax. Do the right thing for Utah families.

Democratic lawmakers who joined the press conference said they supported a bill Rep. Rosemary Lesser, D-Ogden, is sponsoring to eliminate the tax.


“You hear the Utah Legislature all the time talking about lowering taxes, which would make it easier for families in Utah. Well, now we have the opportunity to do it, ”said Senator Derek Kitchen, D-Salt Lake City.

In an opinion piece in the Deseret News, Lesser wrote that Utah currently brings in around $ 149 million in sales tax on food and the state can afford to let families keep that money.

She also wrote that her bill was only intended to eliminate the state tax on grocery store foods, and not other taxes imposed by cities and counties.

Jatessa Whittaker, a mother of five who works as a grocery store cashier, attended the press conference. She said she supported removing the tax because it will allow families to buy more food.

“I see a lot of people coming and trying to buy stuff and they see it’s too much and they put it away and they’re sad or they say to their kids, ‘No we can’t get it today. hui, “said Whittaker.

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Mary Cashion

The author Mary Cashion