Knoxville (WVLT) Your next trip to the market could leave slightly more money in your pocket, and put less in Tennessee's.
Volunteer TV's Gordon Boyd tells us what's behind the trim in grocery taxes, and why more cuts aren't likely.
Lawmakers say this is more about message than money: as in, "you ought not have to pay, what Kentucky hasn't charged in 35 years."
But we can't give you much more than a nibble.
Erik Petersen and Roberitta Johnson can't help but smirk when you ask whether'll they'll notice a half-percent saving in grocery taxes.
Erik says, "I don't believe so."
Roberitta says, "I don't really pay attention to the tax anyway, cause I know I gotta pay it, so I try not to get too stressed out about it."
State Senator Tim Burchett continues, "it's just anything to help working families out."
How much depends on the size of your family.
The comptroller figures a half percent cut will save every Tennessee man, woman and child slightly less than $7 bucks a year.
And cut revenues $41 million a year.
Tennessee figures to make up the difference by hiking cigarettes 40 cents a pack.
But beyond that, there's a lot less wiggle room.
Roberitta says, "I would pay more for clothes, clothes instead of food, cause you need food, know what I'm saying."
Steve Smith, with Food City says, "to my knowledge there's not any legislation that would impact the sales tax. "
To eliminate it completely you'd have to come up with quite a bit of revenue.
Senator Burchett says an income tax is anything but, in the bag, given that folk's would have to change Tennessee's Constitution, and maybe, their own spending.
Erik says, "I didn't say I was willing to pay it. I said I was all for it. I didn't mean I wanted to pay it."
Burchett continues, "there's a business tax loophole that folks are looking at."
Closing that loophole, Burchett says, might cut the grocery tax another quarter to half a percent.
But when push, comes to checkout
"Everybody wants to tax somebody other than themselves."
The folks and stores who feel this the most are those living and setting up shop near Kentucky and Virginia, home of no or low grocery taxes.
Short of gutting the tax entirely, grocers aren't sure how much Tennessee'd have to cut to stop folks crossing the border.