UNAFFORDABLE UTAH

Group calls for Utah to end sales tax on grocery food

Nov 24, 2021, 9:36 PM | Updated: Feb 13, 2023, 1:32 pm

SALT LAKE CITY – A group of religious leaders, Democratic lawmakers and advocates gathered in Salt Lake City Wednesday afternoon to call for an end to Utah’s sales tax on grocery food.

“The Coalition of Religious Communities is here today to say that the amount of state taxes prescribed on groceries should be zero,” said Rev. Kimal James of the Ogden First United Methodist Church.

The speakers said that the tax burdens low-income families and emphasized that Utah is one of only about a dozen states to charge a sales tax on unprepared food.

“Families who are hurt most by this unfair are the working poor and families with fixed incomes,” said Rev. Vinnetta Golphin-Wilkerson of the Granger Community Christian Church.

Utah collects a 1.75% sales tax on grocery store food, which is lower than the standard sales tax of 4.85%


The group said with Utah’s economy doing so well and a budget surplus expected that it’s the right time to eliminate the tax.

“We’re asking our neighbors who represent us in the state legislature to do the right thing,” said Golphin-Wilkerson. “Do the right thing. Stop this tax on food. Do the right thing for Utah families.”

Democratic lawmakers who joined the press conference said they support a bill that Rep. Rosemary Lesser, D-Ogden, is sponsoring to get rid of the tax.

(KSL TV)

“You hear the Utah Legislature talk all the time about reducing taxes, making it easier for Utah families. Well, now we have an opportunity to do just that,” said Sen. Derek Kitchen, D-Salt Lake City.

In an opinion article in the Deseret News, Lesser wrote that Utah currently brings in around $149 million from the food sales tax and that the state can afford to let families keep that money.

She also wrote that her bill only targets eliminating the state tax on grocery food, not other taxes imposed by cities and counties.


Jatessa Whittaker, a mother of five who works as a grocery store cashier, attended the press conference. She said she supports doing away with the tax because it will allow families to purchase more food.

“I see a lot of people who come in and try to buy stuff and they see it’s too much and they put it away and they’re sad or they tell their kids, ‘No, we can’t get this today,’” Whittaker said.

KSL 5 TV Live

Unaffordable Utah

The cost of homeowner's insurance in Utah has risen by double digits since 2022, impacting both cur...

Daniel Woodruff

Cost of homeowner’s insurance in Utah up by double digits each year since 2022

Homeowner's insurance costs have risen by double-digit percentages for the last three years. The Utah insurance commissioner has concerns, and advice.

30 days ago

A Redfin sign listing a Utah home for sale....

Daniel Woodruff

Utah’s median home price rises to $500k despite high mortgage rates

Even with high mortgage rates, Utah's home prices are still going up, as the median price for a home in the state is $500,000.

1 month ago

A group of graduates at their ceremony....

Karah Brackin

AI and budgeting are the biggest challenges for newer graduates, experts say

With graduation season in full swing, the “real world” challenges graduates face may look a little different this year.

2 months ago

(FILE) Two signs advertising bedrooms for rent....

Daniel Woodruff

Rent costs are up nationally, but what about Utah?

While some aspects of inflation are cooling down, the cost of renting has continued rising.

2 months ago

KSL’s Matt Gephardt price shopped several items at traditional grocery stores and specialty food ...

Matt Gephardt

Gephardt Busts Inflation: Will shopping specialty food markets save you money?

To save money on your groceries, a specialty food market might not come to mind. But KSL Consumer Investigator Matt Gephardt found branching out to specialty food markets might help you bust some grocery inflation.

2 months ago

High food prices are squeezing Utah families, and going to the grocery store can be a frustrating e...

Daniel Woodruff

Is grocery shopping ‘frustrating and stressful’? Here are ways to stretch your dollars

High food prices are squeezing Utah families, and going to the grocery store can be a frustrating experience.

2 months ago

Sponsored Articles

young male technician is repairing a printer at office...

Les Olson

Unraveling the dilemma between leasing and buying office technology

Carefully weigh these pros and cons to make an informed decision that best suits your business growth and day-to-day operation. 

A kitchen in a modern farmhouse....

Lighting Design

A room-by-room lighting guide for your home

Bookmark this room-by-room lighting guide whenever you decide to upgrade your lighting or style a new home.

Photo courtesy of Artists of Ballet West...

Ballet West

The rising demand for ballet tickets: why they’re harder to get

Ballet West’s box office is experiencing demand they’ve never seen before, leaving many interested patrons unable to secure tickets they want.

Electrician repairing ceiling fan with lamps indoors...

Lighting Design

Stay cool this summer with ceiling fans

When used correctly, ceiling fans help circulate cool and warm air. They can also help you save on utilities.

Side view at diverse group of children sitting in row at school classroom and using laptops...

PC Laptops

5 internet safety tips for kids

Read these tips about internet safety for kids so that your children can use this tool for learning and discovery in positive ways.

Women hold card for scanning key card to access Photocopier Security system concept...

Les Olson

Why printer security should be top of mind for your business

Connected printers have vulnerable endpoints that are an easy target for cyber thieves. Protect your business with these tips.

Group calls for Utah to end sales tax on grocery food