Proposal to lower Tennessee sales tax on groceries fails

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- A proposal to make lowering the sales tax on groceries contingent on whether there's a surplus in state revenue has failed.

The measure sponsored by Democratic Senate Minority Leader Jim Kyle of Memphis failed to get a majority vote in the Senate Finance Committee on Wednesday. The companion bill is awaiting a vote in a House subcommittee.

Under the legislation, half of the surplus would go toward student assistance awards.

Gov. Bill Haslam plans to trim the sales tax on groceries by one-quarter percent, down to 5.25 percent, in the budget year beginning July 1, which is projected to cost $21 million.

Haslam has said he wants to drop the sales tax on groceries to 5 percent in the next budget year.

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