On Wednesday, State Representative Dave Yaccarino joined House and Senate Republicans in petitioning Governor Ned Lamont to call the General Assembly into a special session to eliminate the grocery tax set to go into effect on October 1st.
On June 3, 2019 when majority Democratic legislators passed the 2020-21 state budget, they included a change in taxes on prepared meals. At the time, the change was labeled as a 1% tax increase on items already taxed at 6.35%, including all food items sold by restaurants and eating establishments. A recent statement released from the Department of Revenue Services (DRS) has clarified that the new 7.35% tax will also apply to many food items that have always been exempt from taxes when sold in supermarkets and grocery stores.
The tax will apply to not only prepared meals such as sandwiches, deli salads, pizza, rotisserie chickens, and hot buffet items, but also to containers of lettuce, small packages of snacks, loose baked goods, wrapped salads, small servings of ice cream, and meal replacement bars. It also applies to fountain drinks including coffee and any beverage sold with a taxable “meal”.
“A tax on groceries is just going to cripple low and middle income residents in Connecticut,” said Rep. Yaccarino. “The people of North Haven have repeatedly told me that every year it gets harder for them to afford to live in this state with all of the compounding tax increases, and now they will have to bear another – this time on their groceries.”
Lawmakers are able call themselves into a special session by submitting petitions to the Secretary of the State, a total of 76 petitions in the House and 19 in the Senate would need to be collected to successfully call a special session. Rep. Yaccarino submitted his signed petition on Wednesday, September 18, 2019.