Senator Gerald Dial will introduce a bill in the Alabama Senate that would, over a four-year period, end the 4 percent state sales tax on groceries while raising the sales tax on most other items. Democrats have long pushed a bill that would take the sales tax off groceries while paying for it by removing the exemption Alabama residents get on their state income taxes for federal income taxes paid. Republicans have fought that plan, claiming it would hurt wealthy and middle income taxpayers. But Senator Dial, a Lineville Republican, has said that he hopes his bill would receive support from both parties. He has asked for bi-partisan support and that’s good.
As you may know, the revenue from sales tax goes to education in Alabama. Sen. Dial will introduce his bill when the regular session begins in February. I have not read the bill and hope that it doesn’t replace the lost revenues by increasing other taxes on consumers. There are other places to go for these revenues that won’t simply shift the burden to consumers. Hopefully, Senator Dial will have bi-partisan support for his bill. If changes need to be made, they should be worked out prior to the session. I fully support a bill that takes the sales tax off groceries and believe most Alabamians do, too. Senator Dial should be commended for getting the ball rolling on this issue.
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