Grocery tax bill unanimously approved by Oklahoma House committee

A bill that would temporarily scrap the state grocery tax passed with bipartisan support from an Oklahoma House committee on Thursday. Democrats, however, want a more permanent solution. >> Previous cover: Bill to eliminate grocery tax passes Senate panel. Bill 3349 would eliminate the state grocery tax for two years. The author said he will ensure that the state can bear the loss of income. “This bill will suspend the 4.5% tax on groceries for two years to allow us to take a closer look at the state’s economy and performance over the next two years before moving to the total elimination of the sales tax on groceries,” House Speaker Charles McCall, R-Atoka, said. >> See also: Oklahoma lawmakers push to scrap state food taxThe bill, drafted by McCall, would scrap the tax on all retail sales of food and food ingredients. It does not include food sold in restaurants. For several months, the food tax has been something lawmakers have said is an issue they can agree on. However, House Minority Leader Emily Virgin said she would prefer the state to phase out the tax over three years and then remove it altogether. “I think any relief we can give people is good, but we would like a commitment that it’s a longer-term reduction,” said Virgin, D-Norman. >> Previous Coverage: Oklahoma’s bill to eliminate sales tax on groceries is defeated in committee passage. families.

A bill that would temporarily scrap the state grocery tax passed with bipartisan support from an Oklahoma House committee on Thursday.

Democrats, however, want a more permanent solution.

>> Previous cover: Bill to eliminate grocery tax passes Senate panel

House Bill 3349 would eliminate the state grocery tax for two years. The author said he will ensure that the state can bear the loss of income.

“This bill will suspend the 4.5% tax on groceries for two years to allow us to take a closer look at the state’s economy and performance over the next two years before moving to the total elimination of the sales tax on groceries,” House Speaker Charles McCall, R-Atoka, said.

>> See also: Oklahoma lawmakers push to scrap state grocery tax

The bill, drafted by McCall, would remove the tax from all retail sales of food and food ingredients. It does not include food sold in restaurants.

For several months, the food tax has been something lawmakers have said is an issue they can agree on. However, House Minority Leader Emily Virgin said she would prefer the state to phase out the tax over three years and then remove it altogether.

“I think any relief we can give people is good, but we would like a commitment that it’s a longer-term reduction,” said Virgin, D-Norman.

>> Previous cover: Oklahoma bill to eliminate sales tax on groceries is defeated in committee passage

Virgin said it was concerned the bill only targets the current inflation crisis and does not address longer-term concerns about ensuring people can afford to feed themselves and their families.

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