Bill could reinstate tax on groceries

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - A bill prefiled in the South Carolina General Assembly could remove the tax exemption from unprepared food items, meaning your trip to the grocery store could get even more expensive.

This bill was filed by Rep. Spires and currently sits in the House Committee on Ways and Means for the 2013-2014 legislative session.

The wording of the bill states it would amend "Code of Laws of South Carolina, 1976, relating to sales tax exemption, so as to delete the exemption allowed for unprepared food items.

"They're trying to get us again," said grocery shopper Ginger Jordan. "Groceries have gone up lately because of gas prices. They're just trying to hit us up for more money."

Under the bill, unprepared foods like fruits, vegetables, meats, and canned goods would be eligible for a 5% statewide sales tax. Combined with other taxes already in place in the Grand Strand area for other purchases, you could be looking at a lot of charges.

"If you're going to pay higher food prices, you're going to see a difference," said Helping Hand of Myrtle Beach Executive Director Adrian Weatherwax.

Ms. Weatherwax says a bill like this could spell serious trouble for some lower income families. Especially those who don't make much money, but don't qualify for government assistance to buy food.

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