Which States Tax Groceries?

January 11, 2008

The Tax Foundation is often asked which states exempt certain items from their general sales taxes, especially as they relate to food. The following is a list of the states that do tax groceries, and if applicable, which ones apply a special rate on grocery items. All other states do not tax groceries.

States that tax groceries (rate if not fully taxed): Alabama, Arkansas (3%), Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois (1%), Kansas, Mississippi, Missouri (1.225%), Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee (5.5%), Utah (1.75%), Virginia (1.5% + 1% local option tax), and West Virginia (5%).

Notes: Idaho’s income tax provides a $20 credit per person that is designed to partially offset the impact of taxing groceries. Also, our source for this data, CCH, cites a Kansas law that allows for a “limited tax refund available to disabled, elderly, and low-income households.”

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