SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) — Groceries could soon be cheaper thanks to two new bills making their way through the Utah legislature.
The texts of both of the bills say they will get rid of state tax on food and food ingredients.
Both State Representatives Rosemary Lesser, a Democrat, and Judy Rohner, a Republican, said they need their constituents to back this.
“The food tax, it’s a burden on Utahns,” said Rep. Lesser. “People are desperate for relief on food purchases and that’s what this bill hopes to accomplish.”
They both, if passed, would remove state tax, three percent, from food and any food ingredients.
The only tax left would be the local tax on the grocery items.
“The message from community members has been incredibly enthusiastic and that is people from all walks of life,” said Rep. Lesser.
Rep. Lesser and Rep. Rohner agree on many of the items in their bills.
Rep. Rohner sent ABC 4 this statement on why she sponsored H.B. 203:
“As one of the sponsors of the Utah 2019 Tax Referendum, the outcry from the public is they wanted to have the state food tax eliminated. I am addressing that issue.”
Rep. Lesser agreed and said she used to spend countless evenings in the grocery store talking to people about this even before she became a legislator.
“For my bill, I embrace simplicity,” said Rep. Lesser. “Just turn it off at the register. That’s when people need the money. They need the money now.”
Rep. Rohner also sounded off on if the bill will pass.
She said this in a statement to ABC4:
“At the present time, it is an uphill battle. Residents from throughout the state must reach out to their legislators and ask them to support HB203.”
The Utah Taxpayer Association also chimed in Monday and sent this to ABC 4:
“We realize it is an unpopular opinion for us to hold, but it is a bad tax policy. Eliminating the tax mostly helps the wealthy. It is the most stable revenue source for state and local governments. SNAP recipients don’t pay sales tax anyway when they buy food so you are not helping them.”
The bills still have a ways to go in the legislative process.