Legislator says families would be hurt by levy
State Rep. Scott VanSingel today voted for legislation preventing local governments from imposing taxes on food and beverages.
VanSingel, of Grant, said that while no municipal governments in Michigan have yet opted to tax the manufacture, distribution and sales of food, municipalities in other parts of the country have placed aggressive taxes on food, and he wants Michigan to get ahead of any cities attempting to establish food taxes.
“Local governments in Pennsylvania and Illinois have attached a local tax on food, and that has resulted in unintended consequences that hurt families and grocery stores,” VanSingel said. “Some markets impacted by the taxes have cut hours or laid off workers because people are doing their grocery shopping in neighboring towns that do not impose the food tax.”
VanSingel said he voted for the Michigan Food Access and Affordability Act because taxing such a vital necessity as food could mean tough choices for some families.
“Some people have not experienced the comeback that has boosted Michigan’s economy, and are living paycheck to paycheck,” VanSingel said. “Putting an additional tax on the food they already struggle to buy might mean families have to go to bed hungry because they have to choose between paying the rent and buying food. That’s not acceptable.”
The bill now goes to the Senate for consideration.
The Michigan Food Access and Affordability Act is House Bill 4999.