As food prices soar, Alabama considering removing tax on groceries.

A family of four that spends about $10,000 in groceries this year while shopping in Mobile, Tuscaloosa, Birmingham, and Montgomery, will also be doling out an extra $1,000 in taxes.

The tax is causing an extra pinch in Alabamian’s wallets this year as inflation soars to heights unseen since 1981.

Food prices are about 11% more expensive than they were a year ago. That $5 loaf of bread bought in 2019, now costs approximately 63 cents more.

“No one should have to wonder if they can afford to eat today,” said Chris Sanders, spokesperson with Alabama Arise. “But many Alabamians already were struggling to put food on the table even before the pandemic hit.”

He added, “COVID-19 disrupted the global supply chain and led to worldwide inflation, which made it even harder for families to cover the cost of basic needs.”

In Alabama, where 15% of residents live in poverty, renewed efforts are underway to tackle the state’s 4% sales tax on groceries that critics say affects low-to-moderate households the worst.

Groups like Alabama Arise and the Alabama Policy Institute want to outright eliminate the sales tax on groceries. Other organizations, like the Washington, D.C.-based Tax Foundation, believe Alabama and 11 other states with a sales tax on grocery items consider offering income tax rebates.

For Alabama, the issue is nothing new. The state has been wrestling with the idea of eliminating the sales tax on grocery purchases since at least Bill Clinton’s presidency.

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