The head of the Alabama Republican Party (ALGOP) is officially coming out in full support of ending the state's grocery tax, an effort that has failed to gain any traction in the state house in past years.
Alabama is one of just a few states that taxes groceries at the full state sales tax rate. According to the Tax Foundation, Alabama has the fifth-highest state and local combined average sales tax rate. Alabama's state sales tax rate is 4%.
Ending Alabama's grocery tax has been the focus of lawmakers on both sides of the aisle but has failed to gain much traction from the majority of lawmakers.
However, in recent months, appeals from lawmakers to repeal the tax has grown, with prominent lawmakers like Lt. Gov. Will Ainsworth, House Minority Leader Anthony Daniels (D-Huntsville) and several freshman lawmakers sounding off in support.
In a Thursday statement, ALGOP chairman John Wahl announced support for repealing the tax, citing increased inflation and food prices as his motivation.
"It's time to give hard working Alabamians a break," Wahl said. "With the cost of living continuing to rise, I am seriously concerned about people's ability to adequately provide for their families and keep their heads above water. Alabama is one of only three states that still fully tax all grocery sales, and I think this is an excellent starting point in relieving the tax burden on our citizens."
"The Biden Administration's economic policies have been an absolute disaster for low-income and middle class families, and I want to see Republican officials leading the charge to help our citizens make ends meet. The grocery tax significantly impacts our poorer communities more than anyone. We all have to eat, and skyrocketing food prices are especially hitting those families, as well as the elderly on fixed incomes. One of the core beliefs of the Republican Party is that government exists for the benefit of the people, not the other way around. We want to help those families and individuals struggling with food prices right now. It's time to end the grocery tax."
While the details of a grocery tax repeal are a matter of debate among lawmakers, an endorsement from ALGOP is a good omen for supporters.
"Cutting the grocery tax, along with protecting our children's education, and defending the rights and freedoms of our citizens was an important part of the Alabama Republican Party's 2022 election platform, and we are committed to continuing our work towards that goal," Wahl concluded. "I am excited to see Lt. Governor Will Ainsworth and key members of the State Legislature targeting this important issue. I think Republicans working together can finally get this legislation across the finish line this legislative session."
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