Everyone should shoulder a reasonable share of the costs for education, health care, public safety and other services that provide for the common good in our state. The heaviest load shouldn't fall on those least able to pay. But that's exactly what happens in Alabama's upside-down tax system: Low- and middle-income people pay twice as much of their income in state and local taxes as the top 1 percent do. High sales taxes on consumer items, including groceries, are a big reason why.
By taxing the basic necessities of life, Alabama taxes low-income people deeper into poverty. Alabama is one of only four states with no tax break on groceries. That makes getting by even harder for many low- and middle-income Alabamians as the nation's economy recovers from the Great Recession. Eliminating the 4 percent state grocery tax would save every Alabama household the cost of two weeks' groceries every year! That would pump hundreds of millions of dollars of consumer spending into the economy, and it would make it easier for hundreds of thousands of Alabama families to make ends meet.
Read an Arise op-ed on the grocery tax here.
Get your county's income facts here.
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