Opinion — Repeal the grocery tax

Published 12:33 pm Sunday, September 19, 2021

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

Glenn Youngkin has made ending the tax on groceries a major pillar of his campaign, and for good reason. Not only is it good policy I will support as your Delegate, but the measure is extremely popular across Virginia.

At present, Virginia levies a 2.5% tax on groceries: 1.5% at the state level, and 1% at the local level. This equates to $568 million in revenue to state and local governments.

Democratic policies at the Federal level have driven inflation to levels not seen since the 1990s.

Costs for things like meat and fuel have gone even higher, putting unnecessary strain on family budgets.

The tax on groceries is regressive, as it takes a larger bite out of budgets from lower income Virginians than anyone else.

Repealing the tax on groceries will not only make Virginia the 38th state to end this burden, but it will also make life easier for those least able to afford this tax.

According to the left-leaning Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, repealing the grocery tax would be a boon to minorities and help end racial inequities.

From CBPP: “Sales taxes on groceries have an especially harmful impact on income and racial inequities since low-income families tend to spend a larger share of their income on groceries. The lowest-income fifth of families spend almost twice the share of their annual income on food at home that the highest-income fifth do.”

The last major politician to support repealing the grocery tax was none other than Ralph Northam during the 2017 campaign. He forgot about the tax repeal as soon as he was in office.

Virginia is running a multibillion-dollar surplus. Our budget can easily afford the repeal of this tax. More importantly, it’s the right thing to do.

Del. Tommy Wright can be reached via email at DelTWright@house.virginia.gov or (804) 698-1061.