Sen. Derrick Simmons

A bill offered by Senator Derrick Simmons would eliminate the sales tax imposed on groceries. This exemption would include all food and beverage sales in super markets, grocery stores, convenience stores, farmers markets and drug stores besides that of wine and beer.

Groceries in Mississippi are currently taxed at 7%. This is the highest level of grocery tax in the country, with only 13 other states having something equal.

SB 2185 was referred to the finance committee where it will have to be decided on before the next February deadline.

The bill reads: 

Sales of groceries. For purposes of this paragraph, “groceries” means food and beverages, other than beer, light wine and light spirit product as defined in Section 67-3-3, sold in supermarkets, grocery stores, convenience stores, dollar stores, drugstores and farmers’ markets for off-premises consumption. “Groceries” does not mean food or beverages sold in restaurants, carryout stores, bars, cafes and other establishments, including certain areas of supermarkets, grocery stores, convenience stores, dollar stores, drugstores or farmers’ markets, where services are provided for the preparation of food 356 or beverages making them fit for on-premises consumption, regardless of whether or not they are actually consumed on the premises.

This legislation does not apply to things like clothing and other retail goods.