MS has one of the highest poverty rates in our nation. It is unconscionable that every poor family in the state has to pay a 7 percent sales tax just to put food on their table.
Most states with a sales tax exempt groceries consumed in the home. In contrast, MS taxes all groceries which means that every gallon of milk or loaf of bread purchased in the state has a 7 percent surcharge.
Food is a necessity and as such, I think that it's not very ethical to put a tax on it. Taxes can just as easily be earned in other ways, such as sales tax, tobacco and alcohol tax, income tax, etc. Food tax hurts poor people who already have a hard time making ends meet.
This summer, Alabama and Mississippi are set to become the only states that apply their full state sales tax to groceries without any relief for low-income families, a distinction critics see as a holdover from their Deep South political past.
Arkansas had been in that category, but its Legislature recently voted to cut the states 6 percent sales tax in half for groceries. The tax break starts July 1.
All other states either exempt groceries from the sales tax, have a reduced tax on food, or provide a tax credit or rebate to low-income citizens.
The fact that everybody pays the sales tax — even a little — appeals to political conservatives. What you see in Mississippi and Alabama is a legacy of that rationale,said Ferrel Guillory, director of the University of North Carolinas program on Southern politics.
Mississippi lawmakers wrapped up a legislative session in March, with a measure dying that would have reduced the states 7 percent tax on groceries and raised the state tax on cigarettes. Republican Gov. Haley Barbour opposed the tax change, saying the state still faces too much economic uncertainty after Hurricane
Mississippi ranks number one for obesity, therefore, I believe if taxes will help in cutting back on food consumption, it will not hurt anyone living in this state, rich or poor! And it wouldn't hurt if tax were even higher for restaurants and fast foods. This might save a life!