across the state on the local grocery tax because of the historic inflation that has engulfed the country and continues to soar at an alarming rate.
Governor Bill Lee announced his proposal in a press release on Thursday stating, “As Americans see their cost-of-living skyrocket amid historic inflation, suspending the grocery tax is the most effective way to provide direct relief to every Tennessean.”
He further stated, “Our state has the ability to put dollars back in the pockets of hardworking Tennesseans, and I thank members of the General Assembly for their continued partnership in maintaining our fiscally conservative approach.”
According to reports, the proposal of grocery tax suspension will be a part of a budget amendment for the 2022-2023 fiscal year. The fiscal year report will be officially released on March 29, 2022.
Governor Bill Lee will be hosting the business leaders at Covington today and it is expected that he will discuss his proposal with the leaders as well to get them onboard. It is the agenda of the talk to predict the impact of the suspension proposal on the economic challenges as well as on the soaring inflation.
The move comes after two influential Democrats asked Governor Lee to discontinue the collection of diesel and gas taxes for 90 days amidst the surging inflation in the state in order to provide benefits to the working class of Tennessee.
Democrats Bo Mitchell and John Ray Clemmons, both hailing from Nashville had written a letter to Lee in which they demanded the governor to propose an executive order of suspension of tax collection or pass an immediate legislation.
Governor Lee had agreed to review the proposal by the two Democrats but stayed noncommittal about taking an action.
“That proposal that was made yesterday, we’ll certainly look at it,” Lee had said earlier this month.
After Governor Lee announced the proposal, Clemmons posted a reaction on Twitter, overly criticizing the proposed action.
“So he tries to save face by pivoting to a tax that Dems have been fighting to cut/repeal for (years),” Clemmons retorted in the tweet.
Rep. Clemmons stated that Lee has been biased towards his suggestions in the past as well. He also declined a bill that Clemmons proposed about a month ago regarding the omission of taxes on vegetables and fruits across Tennessee.