TN Lawmaker Pushes Grocery Tax Cut

House Democrats are proposing to cut the state’s 5.5 percent tax on groceries by putting a higher tax on sugary soft drinks.

Under the proposal sponsored by Rep. Mike Stewart of Nashville, the state would boost the tax on drinks like Coke or Pepsi by 1 cent per fluid ounce.

Legislative analysts project the tax would raise about $92 million per year – enough to make up for a 1 percentage point reduction in the state’s tax on other groceries to 4.5 percent.

Stewart says even with the increase, the sodas would remain cheaper than they were in the 1970s when adjusted for inflation.

The bill is scheduled to be heard in the House Budget Subcommittee on Wednesday.