Nashville shoppers weigh in on proposed grocery tax bill

Rep. Aftyn Behn is proposing a bill to eliminate Tennessee’s grocery state tax.
Rep. Aftyn Behn is proposing a bill to eliminate Tennessee’s grocery state tax.
Published: Nov. 20, 2023 at 4:46 PM CST|Updated: Nov. 20, 2023 at 5:15 PM CST
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) - Tennesseans are expected to spend nearly 7% more shopping for Thanksgiving this year.

That’s one of the reasons one lawmaker is proposing to get rid of the state’s grocery sales tax altogether.

Nashville shoppers gave a variety of responses.

One shopper said, ”well it’s better to save $5 than nothing.”

That’s how much he would’ve saved on his trip to the grocery store, if the grocery tax was eliminated. He says that’s why, ”I would like to see it totally eliminated.”

For other shoppers, they feel it all balances out.

Michael Crouse moved here from California.

”It’s a lot higher than California, but there’s no state income tax and the gas is so cheap here is unbelievable so I’ll be happy to pay the grocery tax any day of the week,” Crouse said.

WSMV4 took a look at the numbers. The average cost of groceries annually per person is $3,016, according to Sofi. That means the average person is spending about $120 in grocery tax a year.

On Monday, Tennessee state Rep. Aftyn Behn, D-Nashville, says she’s introducing a bill that’d eliminate the grocery sales tax.

“As someone who has been organizing across the state to improve policies for working families, this is at the top of my agenda,” Behn said at a news conference.

She’s proposing the money lost in revenue be made up by closing corporate offshore tax loopholes.

At a separate event Monday, WSMV4 asked Gov. Bill Lee his stance on eliminating the tax.

”We are a very low tax state and Tennesseans pay less in taxes than most other citizens across the country but there’s always another opportunity to put hard earned money back in the pockets of Tennesseans and we’ll look to do that,” Lee said.