“This is Not a Permanent Fix” – Fasano Statement on Revised Grocery Tax Guidance

September 19, 2019

DRS Admits Multiple “Interpretations,” the Grocery Tax Should Still be Repealed to Protect Taxpayers

HARTFORD – Senate Republican Leader Len Fasano (R-North Haven) released the following statement in response to the Department of Revenue Services (DRS) new guidance on implementing the “Meals Tax” included in the Democrat state budget.

“I appreciate the revised guidance, but this is nothing more than a temporary pause. It is not a permanent fix. The grocery tax passed by Democrats remains law and can still be imposed on taxpayers by future governors or legislatures until the statute is changed, which can only be done by the legislature when in session. The fact that the DRS commissioner admits that there are different interpretations of how the tax can be imposed demonstrates the need to fix the law. If Democrats won’t call a special session to actually repeal their grocery tax now, it must be addressed in the regular legislative session next year. Otherwise all taxpayers are still at risk in all future years depending on which ‘interpretation’ state leaders choose to follow.

“This guidance may offer a temporary reprieve, but this whole process has been defined by an abuse of power by Democrats and the bullying of a commissioner into changing his interpretation of the law all to cover up a tax policy Democrats passed without considering the public outrage that would follow. This is politics at its worst.

“This guidance also does nothing to assure grocery stores they won’t be held liable if they do not tax items that DRS said just last week should be taxed. Grocery store owners need certainty that they will not be subject to any penalties, interest or unrealized taxes if they don’t implement the Democrats’ grocery tax. If grocery stores don’t have that assurance from the governor’s administration, how will they have the confidence to not implement the new tax that’s now on the books? I hope the governor will do much more to give businesses the confidence they need to not implement the Democrats’ new tax.”