Eliminating the State Sales Tax on Groceries

By Rep. Ken Luttrell - February 27, 2024 9:00 am

Rep. Ken Luttrell

The cost of living is increasing daily, and it’s no secret that it affects our daily lives. Currently, our country is experiencing a 40-year inflation high that is causing much concern. In response to this issue, the House is committed to providing relief to the people of Oklahoma.

According to recent data, Oklahomans spend an average of nearly $300 per trip to the grocery store, which places Oklahoma in the top 10 states with the highest weekly grocery bills. A poll conducted in September 2022 revealed that 78% of respondents support eliminating the state grocery tax.

Last week, the Senate passed House Bill 1955 to eliminate the state’s portion of the grocery tax. In addition to eliminating the state’s 4.5% tax, it includes a provision preventing municipalities and counties from raising sales taxes on groceries until June 30, 2025.

HB1955 delivers the most significant single-year tax cut in the state’s history, putting $418 million back in the pockets of Oklahomans. The average Oklahoman will see savings of $105.79 at the grocery store.

Oklahomans will benefit significantly from eliminating the regressive state grocery sales tax, particularly when inflation rates are soaring. By removing the grocery sales tax, we can make it easier for everyone to access affordable food, providing much-needed assistance to those who need it most.

The sales tax reduction will apply to most groceries, but certain items remain taxable. Alcoholic beverages, prepared foods that are heated or prepared by the seller, dietary supplements, and tobacco and marijuana products are still taxable. The sales tax exemption also does not apply to items sold from a vending machine.

The governor announced he will sign HB1955 into law on Tuesday, Feb. 27. However, because the Senate removed the bill’s emergency clause, HB1955 is set to take effect in August, 90 days after the Legislature adjourns sine die.

I completely agree that eliminating the state grocery tax is a step in the right direction, but we can’t stop there. There’s still so much more that can be done to support the people of Oklahoma, including the 0.25% income tax cut, to provide additional relief. Ultimately, the money paid in taxes belongs to taxpayers.

Again, thank you for electing me to serve District 37. It is truly an honor and privilege to represent you at the State Capitol. As always, please do not ‎hesitate to reach out to me with any concerns at ‎405-557-7355 or [email protected].

 

 

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