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.