UNAFFORDABLE UTAH

Group calls for Utah to end sales tax on grocery food

Nov 24, 2021, 9:36 PM | Updated: 10:09 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

Top Stories

Unaffordable Utah

...
Lauren Steinbrecher, KSL TV

Moab housing crisis demands solutions as workers struggle to find places to live

One of Utah’s most popular tourist destinations is facing a crisis. Tourists flocking to Moab have plenty of options when it comes to places to stay, but the workers who keep the town running say they can’t afford to live there and there aren’t enough places to rent.
12 days ago
(KSL TV)...
Matt Gephardt, KSL TV

Gephardt Busts Inflation: How to persuade your landlord to lower your rent

It is a familiar refrain heard in Utah: The cost of renting a place to live is going through the roof. It is certainly something you do not have to tell renters. They are very aware of that fact.
20 days ago
FILE: PARK RIDGE, IL - OCTOBER 04:  A "Home for Sale" sign points to an existing single-family resi...
Anna Bahney, CNN Business

Signs of a housing bubble are brewing

US home prices have soared to new heights and keep on climbing, and now some researchers and economists are saying they have seen signs of a housing bubble brewing.
2 months ago
...
Ladd Egan, KSL TV

Unaffordable Utah: Salt Lake County’s apartment market the tightest in history

Renters in Salt Lake County are facing increased rental rates and low vacancy even as the county experiences an unprecedented apartment boom.
2 months ago
...
Ladd Egan, KSL TV

How much is inflation costing Utah families each month?

Inflation is costing Utah households and those in other Mountain West states an extra $511 every month, markedly higher than the national average increase of $385 per month, according to a new Congressional report.
3 months ago
A shopper look at milk at Reams in Sandy on Friday, July 9, 2021. (Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News)...
Matt Rascon, KSL TV

Utahns concerned about high inflation rate, poll shows

A recent Deseret News/Hinkley Institute of Politics poll of more than 800 Utah voters showed 93% are somewhat or very concerned about inflation.
3 months ago

Sponsored Articles

Earth day 2022...
1-800-GOT-JUNK?

How Are You Celebrating Earth Day 2022? | 4 Simple Ways to Celebrate Earth Day and Protect the Environment

Earth Day is a great time to reflect on how we can be more environmentally conscious. Here are some tips for celebrating Earth Day.
Get Money Online...

More Ways to Get Money Online Right Now in Your Spare Time

Here are 4 easy ways that you can get more money online if you have some free time and want to make a little extra on the side.
Lighting trends 2022...

Lighting Trends 2022 | 5 Beautiful Home Lighting Trends You Can Expect to See this Year and Beyond

This is where you can see the latest lighting trends for 2022 straight from the Lightovation Show at the Dallas World Trade Center.
What Can't You Throw Away in the Trash...

What Can’t You Throw Away in the Trash? | 5 Things You Shouldn’t Throw in to Your Trash Can

What can't you throw away in the trash? Believe it or not, there are actually many items that shouldn't be thrown straight into the trash.
Make Money Online Easily...

4 Ways that You Can Make Money Online Easily in Just a Few Clicks

Here are 4 ways that you can make money online easily in no time at all! Some are as simple as just a few clicks away.
tips to winterize your home...
Bonneville Digital SLC

Tips to Winterize Your Home | The Top 5 Ways You Can Prepare for the Cold Utah Winter Ahead

Before the snow hits, here are the top 5 tips to winterize your home to prepare for the cold Utah winter this year.
Group calls for Utah to end sales tax on grocery food