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Lawmakers to discuss tax reduction as Mississippians pay third-most in U.S. for groceries

As Mississippians continue to battle the highest grocery tax in America, a new study shows just how much households are spending on a weekly basis.

According to the report from HelpAdvisor, Mississippi households pay the third-most in the U.S. for groceries, spending a little more than $290 every week. That’s in comparison to the national average of $270.21 with the only other states paying more being California ($297.72) and Nevada ($294.76).

Part of the issue, according to some lawmakers, is Mississippi’s seven-percent sales tax on groceries, which ranks the highest in the U.S. After multiple failed bills during the most recent session, Republican Lt. Gov. Delbert Hosemann is planning to have another proposition introduced and hopefully passed to reduce the burden on residents when they go to the grocery store.

“It’s a statistical number, so it’s not like something horrible to figure out what the amount could be. You could figure out the [needed reduction] quite easily,” Hosemann said. “So, I anticipate that coming.”

The holdup for lessening the grocery tax in Mississippi has been in both chambers. Last year, sister bills were brought to the table by Democrats that would have fully exempted food and beverages purchased at grocery stores from being taxed. Both died in committee.

That being said, Rep. Becky Currie, a Republican from Brookhaven, confirmed not long after the bills died that while fully eliminating the grocery tax doesn’t have the best chance of making it through, a reduction is so popular among her GOP peers in the House that it would pass if ever brought to the floor.

“I think it would pass tomorrow, or this afternoon,” Currie said in March, insinuating that it didn’t matter when the legislation was dropped, it would get passed by the majority of the House.

Hosemann, an outspoken believer that something must be done to lessen the stress of grocery shoppers, has also seconded the idea of creating a tax rebate fund. A bill to do so died during the 2023 session as well.

Top 10 most expensive states for groceries
  1. California ($297.72 average per week)
  2. Nevada ($294.76)
  3. Mississippi ($290.64)
  4. Washington ($287.67)
  5. Florida ($287.27)
  6. New Mexico ($286.39)
  7. Texas ($286.19)
  8. Louisiana ($282.95)
  9. Colorado ($279.98)
  10. Oklahoma ($279.16)

The full study from HelpAdvisor, which is based on the most recent data from the U.S. Census Bureau Household Pulse Survey, can be found here.

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