State Rep. Mike Stewart, D-Nashville, called Monday for passage of his bill to cut the state sales tax on groceries and pay for it with a new tax on sugar-sweetened beverages.
“Families have to buy food, but they can cut back on non-essential items like soda when times get tough,” said Stewart, who represents East Nashville. “This is one way to help a young family buy food without imposing a new tax on businesses that might hurt the economic recovery.”
Stewart’s bill, which is scheduled to be heard Wednesday in the House Budget Subcommittee, would cut the state sales tax on food from 5.5 percent to 4.5 percent. Stewart said his penny-an-ounce tax on sugar-sweetened soft drinks would make up for the lost tax revenue to the state.
“For most families, this is a well-deserved tax break,” he said, saying he also hopes to lower the state’s childhood obesity rate.