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  • Writer's pictureWRIL-FM

Grocery tax cut in Virginia began January 1st

From WCYB -

Virginia is joining the vast majority of states and getting rid of the grocery tax starting Jan. 1.

Currently, grocery shoppers in the Commonwealth are paying 2.5% on items like bread and milk. Beginning Jan. 1, the sales tax rate on groceries will decrease from 2.5% to 1%. Maryland and D.C. do not have a grocery tax.

Eric Figueroa with the nonpartisan research group Center on Budget and Policy Priorities says Virginia was one of 13 hold-out states.

In 2023, the Virginia grocery bill will be slightly lower. This goes for most staple grocery items, but items that don’t qualify for the reduced rate include:

  • Alcoholic beverages

  • Tobacco

  • Prepared hot foods packaged for immediate consumption on or off premises

  • Seeds and plants used to grow food for home consumption

“So, the key distinction for most places is warm meals. If you go to the deli or if you get a rotisserie chicken that comes warm, some of those items are taxed or treated differently that stuff that is in the aisles, when you’re sort of thinking about the grocery store you walk up and down the aisles, and throw in those cold or raw products into your basket, that’s the stuff that will no longer taxed at that state rate,” Figueroa said.

While the 2.5% percent state tax is going away, cities and counties still have the option of keeping their 1% local jurisdiction grocery tax.

That 1% tax funds things like schools, fire departments and police forces. Figueroa says that as of now, no local jurisdictions will be getting rid of that.

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