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MONDAY, APRIL 2, 2007
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Readers: Drop state sales tax on groceries

The state sales tax on groceries is unpopular with readers who answered a Decatur Daily online poll.

“Should Alabama drop the sales tax on groceries — even if it means raising another tax?” the poll asked.

Of 177 respondents, 141 (79.7 percent) answered yes and 36 said no. The two-day, unscientific poll ended Sunday. People could vote from anywhere.

“Generally I would say yes,” reader Mack Daniel of Montgomery wrote by e-mail. “However, why drop food tax if you are going to raise another tax? That makes no sense. It is like robbing from Peter to pay Paul!

“Dropping food tax should be looked at as a tax decrease, period. Dropping one to raise another is nothing but political maneuvering to make the politician look good and pad his stock for the next election.

“That is better known as buying votes, and politicians already do way too much of that. I see no reason to give them another opportunity to walk so close to a crooked line.

“Still, it has long been my belief that there should be no sales tax on the necessities of life, namely food and medicine.”

State Rep. John Knight, D-Montgomery, and the Alabama Arise Citizens’ Policy Project have proposed removing the 4 percent state sales tax on groceries and reducing income taxes on low-income Alabamians. They would make up lost reve-nue by ending the state income-tax deduction for federal income taxes paid, thus raising state taxes for some — mostly the wealthiest 20 percent of taxpayers.

Steve Stewart

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