Should the state Legislature cut the sales tax on food? (Coloroso says yes)

By By Christina Coloroso

By Christina Coloroso

A proposal sits before the current session of the Utah Legislature to remove the sales tax on food items-a reform that, if adopted, could ease the financial burden basic necessities can pose to the economically disadvantaged. This is a simple change in tax policy that could benefit nearly every citizen of the state.

Here’s the idea: If the sales tax on food were removed, food products would be less expensive and easier to purchase. This means parents would have an easier time feeding their kids. It means that people on a fixed or limited income would be able to stretch their dollars further at the grocery store. In short, it would mean that fewer people in the state of Utah would go without enough to eat-and that is a cause we can all rally behind.

Many college students know what it is like to be poor. We know what it is like to wish we had more money for the things we need, and some of us even know what it is like to be continually hungry. But the hunger we sometimes face can pale in comparison to those less economically established than ourselves.

Food is one of those things everyone should be able to easily afford, and removing the sales tax on food is a step in that direction.

Even if the few extra cents you pay on milk and bread at the grocery store doesn’t seem like a lot, it certainly adds up over time. For those living from day-to-day or paycheck-to-paycheck, every penny counts. The value of a dollar may be more for them because they have fewer dollars to spend. Removing the sales tax on food can make food more affordable for them and everyone else.

The biggest obstacle of the bill-a question regarding the loss of funds from taxes-has already been resolved. To accommodate removing the sales tax on food, the tax on non-perishable, non-food items will increase slightly.

Consider, for example, the people purchasing high-end sports cars-they will pay a little bit more in taxes on that item, but when compared to their overall expenditure, it is insignificant. The increased tax will not deter car enthusiasts from buying sports cars-but the sales tax on food can currently keep people from eating dinner. Seems easy enough.

In this great nation, full of hope and promise, those who can contribute to our society should not be weakened by an empty stomach. Everyone deserves the ability to provide for himself or herself, and removing the sales tax on food is a way of enabling that dream to happen.

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