Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Who does his grocery shopping?

Tennessee State House Majority Leader Gary Odom (D-Nashville) is quoted in this morning's City Paper as saying:

“We’re not going to some gimmick in December where wealthy people can fill up their freezers with steak, which is what the Republicans want to do.”
Gimmick?! It's obvious to me that Mr. Odom has no idea what a benefit even just a November/December amnesty from grocery taxes could be for Tennesse families.

Here's your primer Rep. Odom. During the Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday season grocery stores are full of sales on staples. They may have steaks on sale also but that's not a normal grocery item for us so I can't say for sure. What I can testify to is that in anticipation of all the family gatherings where the family table is a huge part of the festivities they put basic food on sale---even making them loss leaders and BOGOF in an attempt to get shoppers into the store. When those sales flyers arrive at our house you can count on the following items being added to our grocery list to stock the pantry and the freezer:

potatoes: regular & sweet
sugars: granulated, brown & powdered
other baking items like: dried fruits, nuts, coconut & baking powder/soda
milk: canned, evaporated, & eggnog
canned yams, sweet potatoes & pumpkin

Those--just off the top of my head. I'm sure others can add to that list.

It's my opinion the sales tax amnesty needs to be for all of November and December, not just a couple of weeks. The holidays celebrated in that season can vary from family to family and it's those holiday that drive the national chains to implement these sales. It's then that families can get the most bang for their grocery buck. And considering people like Rep. Odom seem intent to hang on to as much of that $1.3 billion in overtaxation as possible--taxpaying families could use that extra bang.

1 comment:

Nashteach said...

But you left out the previous part of his comment and the alternate plan. It's not that he's simply opposed to tax relief:

A competing proposal, supported by Democrats in the House, would cut a half-percent off of the state’s 6 percent sales tax on food. That would cost the state about $42 million each year.


House Majority Leader Gary Odom (D-Nashville) said House Democrats are “committed to lowering the sales tax on food” with an “across the board proposal.”

A short term proposal covering a few months would seem to suit the stores. They’d be more likely to curb the discounts they’d give in those months when they knew people would be stocking up. The tax change would be the incentive to shop. Stores couldn’t do that with an across the board, all-year cut that the Dems are proposing.

Now, I see that the Democrats’ current plan would be $42 million and the GOP’s $126 million. So why not split the difference? Rather than name calling or blind partisanship seen here:

“I’d prefer ours over theirs,” said Sen. Randy McNally (R-Oak Ridge).

And I’m sure from the Speaker as well- I don’t mean it’s one-sided. But what’s the opposition to across the board? Don’t you think it’d be easier for future sessions to rid the holiday than raise the rate overall? If the cut’s dollar amount was closer to the GOP number, would reducing the overall rate be more acceptable?

Also, I don’t think Odom meant solely and specifically steak, but that people not living paycheck to paycheck would be more likely to really stock up on food, whereas more modest income families wouldn’t have extra money to stock up in that given window (especially when money is tight prior to the holidays to buy gifts and all the acoutrements.)

His position has changed some since last year, but Odom has been arguing for reducing the tax on food for several years now.