It was widely reported earlier this year that the new state budget imposes an additional one percent tax on restaurant meals bringing that total ‘meals tax’ to 7.35%. What you may have missed is that the 7.35% tax will also be imposed on many ready to eat prepared foods at the supermarket that have never been taxed before.
“It is simply a money grab, that’s all it is,” said Senate Minority Leader Sen. Len Fasano (R-North Haven).
Republicans say it was sold to the public as a simple one percent tax hike on restaurant meals.
But the list from the tax department shows dozens and dozens of prepared food items, purchased at the grocery store, that will now be subject to the tax. Like packages 8 ounces or less of spring salad mix, sliced vegetables, sliced watermelon, or potato salad.
Sen. Fasano adding, “If you buy 5 or less rolls or donuts, you will be taxed 7.35%. If you buy 6, no tax.”
Governor Lamont admits, he needed the money to balance his budget but sees this as a fairness issue adding, “I think our restaurants have been at a real disadvantage because people could go to grocery stores and buy the same thing you can get at a restaurant tax free at the grocery store.”
This long list from the state tax department on the items that will now be subject to the ‘Meals Tax’ is considered an “advisory opinion, ” which the Republicans say is likely to cause a great deal of confusion next month.