Bentley creates task force to study grocery tax repeal


Rebecca Rakowitz

Gov. Robert Bentley signed an executive order on Tuesday that created a task force to study the effects of a possible repeal of Alabama’s grocery sales tax.

“My goal for this task force is to remove four percent off food items and put that money back in the pockets of Alabamians who need it the most, such as low-income individuals and families on a fixed income,” Bentley said in a statement.

Alabama is one of just 13 states that collect the sales tax on groceries, according to the Department of Revenue, and one of seven that collects the full tax.

While Bentley’s goal is to repeal the tax without a replacement, the task force will study the effects of such a repeal on the state’s budget and economy.

The Alabama Education Association feels differently, since the four percent sales tax generates about $350 million for the Education Trust Fund each year, said Julie Magee, commissioner and task force chair.

The AEA told that Alabama schools are still recovering from funding cuts from the Great Recession, saying that the money lost from repealing the grocery tax and not replacing it would be “prohibitive.”