Tennessee House Republicans defeat accelerating cuts to sales tax on groceries

photo The Tennessee State Capitol in downtown Nashville.
Arkansas-Tennessee Live Blog

NASHVILLE - House Republicans today defeated Democrats' efforts to accelerate cuts to the state's sales tax on groceries.

The proposal was tabled on a 62-33 vote. The bill dealt with legislation affecting the state budget.

Minority Leader Craig Fitzhugh, D-Ripley, earlier argued for the amendment, saying he doesn't think Republican Gov. Bill Haslam's plan for reducing the state's sales tax on groceries goes far enough.

Haslam is proposing to cut the tax from 5.5 percent to 5.25 percent in the budget taking affect July 1. Then, Haslam plans to reduce it another quarter cent in the 2013-2014 budget.

Fitzhugh's plan reduces it to 5 percent this year and ultimately down to 4 percent over the next three years.

Fitzhugh said the number of people affected by Haslam and fellow Republicans' proposals to eliminate the gift tax and phase out the inheritance tax doesn't compare to the 6.4 million Tennesseans affected by the sales tax on food.

Read more in tomorrow's Times Free Press.

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