Governor Lee Proposes 30-Day Suspension of State and Local Grocery Sales Tax

Tennessee Governor Bill Lee announced Thursday in a press release his proposal for a 30-day suspension of state and local grocery sales tax to provide “direct financial relief to Tennesseans amid surging inflation nationwide.”

The state grocery tax is currently 4 percent, with local grocery taxes varying slightly.

“As Americans see their cost-of-living skyrocket amid historic inflation, suspending the grocery tax is the most effective way to provide direct relief to every Tennessean,” Governor Lee said in a statement. “Our state has the ability to put dollars back in the pockets of hardworking Tennesseans, and I thank members of the General Assembly for their continued partnership in maintaining our fiscally conservative approach.”

Lee’s proposal to suspend state and local sales tax on groceries for 30 days will be included in the Fiscal Year 2022-2023 budget amendment, which will be delivered on Tuesday, March 29th, according to the press release. The proposal will need approval from the legislature before taking effect.

On Thursday, Governor Lee met with business leaders in Covington at Naifeh’s Cash Saver “to discuss the tax cut proposal and hear about the local impacts of nationwide economic challenges.”

“Tennesseans have felt the impact of inflation tremendously,” Governor Lee said while speaking at the roundtable discussion in Covington. “Our state is in a strong fiscal position to be able to let Tennesseans keep some of their hard-earned money and do so by suspending the grocery tax for some time.”

Lee’s grocery tax suspension proposal comes after two state Democrats, John Ray Clemmons and Bo Mitchell, called on the governor to place a 90-day moratorium on the state’s collection of gas and diesel taxes.

When asked if he is considering the idea of a suspension of the state gas and diesel tax, Lee said, “We actually looked at the best way to get relief to the most Tennesseans and there are a number of ways to do that, but we believe the grocery tax is the thing all Tennesseans pay and that is the best strategy to giving relief, so that’s why we chose that direction.”

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Kaitlin Housler is a reporter at The Tennessee Star and The Star News Network.

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6 Thoughts to “Governor Lee Proposes 30-Day Suspension of State and Local Grocery Sales Tax”

  1. 83ragtop50

    Doesn’t Tennessee tax revenues consistently exceed budget? So why not permanent and real tax cuts? I guess it is because Mr. Lee has never seen a government expansion that he does not like. Vote the bum out! Let him go count his money in his personal mansion.

  2. Cannoneer2

    The gas tax moratorium had at least two problems. First, it would have made the road builders mad to cut off their spigot, and second, the idea was NIR… (Not Invented by a Republican). So we get this plan….

  3. LM

    Approval from the legislature after March 29th, huh? Gee, Bill , since you want to help Tennesseans out so bad, what happened to your “emergency executive orders” ?

  4. Mike

    I don’t agree with temporary cuts in taxes to fight inflation. Temporary tax cuts will do nothing to alleviate inflation. When the tax cuts are lifted the impact on consumers will be increased. Permanent tax cuts would be much more helpful. This seems to be a stunt because of upcoming election primary. This Governor should be voted out of office.

    1. 83ragtop50

      Mike – I agree. A lousy governor looking for a way to buy favors with the taxpayers. The guy is a disaster.

  5. I didn’t know Tennessee could only do “either/or” decisions They should be cutting both grocery and gas taxes.