Wyoming axes sales tax on food purchases
As Wyoming residents stocked up on food for their 4th of July celebrations few noticed the lower sales tax charge at the checkout stand. As of July 1, Wyoming residents no longer must pay sales tax on food that they prepare before eaten.
Natrona County Representative Ann Robinson, D-rep., joined her friends, a few Republicans and members of the Democrat Party, at a cookout on Saturday, July 2, to celebrate her years of hard work and tenacity in getting the tax on food removed. Robinson reminded those present that the tax relief is only for two years and now Wyoming residents must sign another petition to make sure the law becomes permanent.
Not all foods are tax-exempt. Taxable food items include, but are not limited to, over the counter medications, alcoholic products, foods purchased via vending machine or food served hot, with utensils or in a manner otherwise designed for immediate consumption. If you like to grab a sandwich, salad, and a soda pop for lunch either at the deli or a fast food place, you will still have to pay sales tax. Prepared foods are still subjected to sales tax. More details can be found on the Wyoming Revenue’s home page, http:/revenue.state.wy.us.
Forty-five states and the District of Columbia levy general sales taxes. Most of those states have in some way eliminated, reduced, or offset the tax as applied to food for home consumption. The relief strategies include full or partial exemptions from the sales tax for food purchased for home consumption and credits or rebates to offset the food tax. Of the states with sales taxes:
– Twenty-nine states and the District of Columbia exempt most food purchased for consumption at home from the state sales tax. Louisiana and New Mexico are the states that most recently eliminated their sales tax on food.
– Four states tax groceries at lower rates than other goods; they are Illinois, Missouri, Tennessee and Virginia.
– Four states ” Idaho, Kansas, Oklahoma, and South Dakota ” tax groceries fully but offer credits or rebates to offset some of the taxes paid on food by some portions of the population. These credits or rebates usually are set at a flat amount per family member. The amounts vary, but typically are insufficient to give eligible households full relief from sales taxes paid on food purchases.
– Seven states continue to apply their sales tax fully to food purchased for home consumption without providing any offsetting relief for low- and moderate-income families. They are Alabama, Arkansas, Hawaii, Mississippi, South Carolina, Utah, and West Virginia. Local governments, which in many states levy their own sales taxes, usually follow state policy on the food exemption. Major exceptions include localities in Arizona, Colorado, Georgia, Louisiana and North Carolina. Grocery food purchases in those states are fully or partially exempt at the state level, but typically taxed at the local level.
No doubt about it, in Wyoming it is cheaper to feed family and friends at home!
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