Committee chair says measure has bipartisan support
State Rep. Lee Chatfield today joined his colleagues on the House Michigan Competitiveness Committee in voting for legislation that prohibits local governments from assessing a tax on the manufacture and sale of food and beverages.
Chatfield, who chairs the committee, said the bill, a first of its kind in the nation to proactively prevent local taxes, will help families struggling to make ends meet continue to put food on the table without added strain to their pocketbooks.
“There are families living paycheck to paycheck and already have serious economic challenges,” Chatfield said. “For a local government to add a tax on a basic staple such as food would force lower-income families to choose between a nutritious meal or some other necessity. It could literally take food out of their children’s mouths.”
Chatfield said in low-income households food costs account for more than 32 percent of their total budget, and for middle-income families the percentage of total budget set aside for food is 13.1 percent.
“Our state constitution promises that no state sales tax will be placed on food and beverages,” Chatfield said. “That promise should extend to municipal governments that are trying to pad their budgets on the backs of our most vulnerable residents.”
The bill, which has strong bipartisan support, now goes to the full House for consideration.
The Michigan Food Access and Affordability Act is House Bill 4999.