GOP Efforts to Eliminate Democrat “Grocery Tax” Move Forward

January 14, 2020

Senate Republicans Thank the CT Department of Revenue Services for Acknowledging a Legislative Fix is Needed to Eliminate Democrat-Approved Grocery Tax


Senate Republican Leader Len Fasano (R-North Haven) today thanked the state’s Department of Revenue Services for proposing 2020 legislation to eliminate the grocery tax approved by Democrats in their state budget passed last year. Senate Republicans will also be submitting a proposal to eliminate the grocery tax language this legislative session.


“The only way to fix the law and truly protect taxpayers from the Democrats’ grocery tax is to change the language and pass a new statute. Republicans called for this to happen last year, but Democrats refused, because either they couldn’t admit they made a mistake, or at some point when the public isn’t looking, they plan to enforce the existing language, tax groceries and hide behind the language of the law,” said Sen. Fasano.


“I am glad the tax experts at DRS, who under Commissioner Jackson aptly alerted the public to the dangers of the Democrats’ budget in the first place, have now also made it clear that a legislative fix is needed. This is what Republicans have been trying to do since the Democrats’ sneaky tax first came to light. Republicans will also be submitting a legislative proposal this year to stop the Democrats’ grocery tax.”


The Democrat Fiscal Year 2020/2021 budget implemented a new 1% “prepared meals” tax on top of the state sales tax. Democrat lawmakers told the public it would only apply to food items already subject to the sales tax. But the legislation included language that expanded the tax to hundreds of grocery store items never taxed before including rotisserie chickens, bags of lettuce and loose bagels and baked goods. The full extent of the Democrats’ grocery tax was explained in DRS guidance issued in September. Democrats asked DRS to revise their guidance, but refused to alter the language to fully repeal the tax from grocery store items.


The Department of Revenue Services included their proposed legislative fix to take the grocery tax off the books in their 2020 legislative proposals submitted to the governor’s office for consideration.


The DRS proposal would eliminate the threat of the sales tax being applied to many grocery store items not taxed before, but it is not a repeal of the 1% meals tax the Democrats admit they intended to place on top of the sales tax on items already taxed at restaurants and supermarket delis.


View DRS proposed language to fix the Democrat grocery tax: