Group Walking 190 Miles To Protest Alabama’s Grocery Sales Tax

March 7, 2012

Buy groceries in Atmore, and you’ll pay 9-percent sales tax. But buy groceries just across the state line in Davisville, and you’ll save $9 for every $100 you spend on food in Florida. But a group of activists want to change that grocery receipt bottom line.

Protestors are scheduled to continue a 190-mile march today as they travel through Escambia County (Ala.) on their way to Montgomery to protest Alabama’s sales tax on groceries.

A group from Occupy Mobile is making the trek from Mobile to the Alabama Capitol calling for an end to Alabama’s grocery sales tax. They will join Alabama Arise, another advocacy group against the grocery sales tax, at a rally at the Alabama Capitol on March 15.

Alabama and Mississippi are the only states that still charge their full sales tax rate on groceries, and both groups say it is a huge burden on the poor.

“For a government to impose such a high tax on the such a critical necessity in a poverty-stricken state is ethically and morally wrong,” the group says on its website.

Sen. Gerald Dial, Rep-Lineville, is pushing to eliminate the 4-percent state sales tax on groceries will increasing the sale tax by 1-percent on most everything else to recover lost revenue.

Pictured: Shoppers at Food World (pictured above) and other grocery stores in Atmore pay 9-percent sales tax, while shoppers at the Piggly Wiggly (below)  just across the state line in Florida pay no sales tax on food. photos, click to enlarge.


17 Responses to “Group Walking 190 Miles To Protest Alabama’s Grocery Sales Tax”

  1. smeegol on August 31st, 2016 11:19 am

    It’s clearly a regressive tax that hurts poor people more than wealthy ones. Get rid of it now! Then we can work on the tax on clothes…

  2. Tyler on March 16th, 2012 10:08 pm

    Way to make a huge effort on the part of a few determined people into a point of ridicule. Good job. ‘Do unto others…’

  3. JimD on March 8th, 2012 7:29 am

    I agree with 429SCJ. Instead of walking to Montgomery, which gives publicity now, get an investigator or better yet investigating reporters from Birmingham, Montgomery and Mobile to work on stories both locally and at state level. When the names and voting records of politicians are plastered across the front page of the news paper or on the 6 o’clock news…especially in a voting year, perhaps Alabama and eventually Mississippi will come into the 20th century with the rest of the United States, when it comes to taxing items that are needed such as food.

    But like someone else said, the tax of other items will change to make up for the loss in revenue. It will either be an increase sales tax other goods or property.

  4. 429SCJ on March 8th, 2012 6:09 am

    I would save that shoe leather and identify legislators that support the tax. Use the services of an investigator to find that, which they wish to keep concealed. You will find that to be a powerful bargaining chip, in reaching your goals.

  5. MissLady on March 8th, 2012 3:04 am

    I actually found it strange that Alabama had any tax on food.. when I lived in Texas we didn’t pay taxes on food.. nor did we have to file state taxes… I find it strange. I work in Birmingham, and my check they take out a city tax. what the world. Alabama needs to work on how it funds itself.. because this is only making the citizens poor.

  6. BLESSED on March 7th, 2012 11:40 pm

    I still shop in Atmore. I want my tax money to go back into our state & county, not go across the state line just to save $9.00. The only time I go to Piggly Wiggly/Food Giant is if something is on sale really cheap & if I have a coupon for it b/c they double the coupons up to 60 cents. Either way, people are going to complain. All the more reason why we tilled a spot in our back yard today to plant our first garden so we can get our own produce! =)

  7. CW on March 7th, 2012 10:05 pm

    Without a grocery tax, property taxes will go up (just like in FL). The money has to come from somewhere, and these people want it to be from homeowners.

  8. walk on on March 7th, 2012 8:03 pm

    I don’t pic up groceries or eat out in Atmore anymore! I shop in Fla. everytime I can. Not that I think the prices at the Pig are great but I just bought a gallon of milk there today for under $3.60. (Side note… Can’t do that at the rip off of Grocery Disadvantage. You would have to add another ..36 onto that!) I agree with Jimbo and sure thing, grow your own AND shop in Florida!.

  9. Just-a- thought on March 7th, 2012 8:07 am

    If the groceries were actually cheaper in Davisville and Century because of the tax,
    why are the grocery stores in Atmore, Bay minette, and Brewton still open? Without the grocery tax, the stores will simply raise the price on their goods and
    make a higher profit. Do you actually think you save at least 9% of your grocery
    bill when you shop tax free? If so, the fault is yours not the state related tax.

    It is correct to assume the state will raise other tax to recover the loss of revenue.
    In the words of Ben Franklin, “death and taxes will always be with us”.

    The reason Republicans lower taxes or do away with them is the Democrates
    wont allow it. The grocery sales tax, and state income tax was passed when
    Democrates were in complete control of state government of Alabama. They
    saw a need for it and they will not change it!

  10. Jimbo on March 7th, 2012 7:52 am

    The only way to combat this is to buy as much food as possible from neighbors that farm and grow what you can.

  11. Local Yocal on March 7th, 2012 7:39 am

    Really? Think about it people- the poor people get food stamps which is exempt from the grocery tax. If they end the tax on groceries-which spreads the tax burden across all levels of income- your property taxes will sky rocket-just like Florida, which I hear is going up again this legeslative session. I for one am for a sales taxes-even the crack heads have to pay them to buy something to eat. As a property owner I do not want to be carrying the burden like the people in Florida-thier property taxes are so high they no longer have poor people-they have to bus them in from out of state to work at the Walmart and Gas Stations !!

  12. Phaedra on March 7th, 2012 7:34 am

    Miss. and Ala., two of the poorest states in the Country.
    Politicos, why is this ?

  13. Friction against the machine on March 7th, 2012 6:56 am

    Not only is the grocery tax bad, but the fact that the Atmore city council raised the city sales tax with no public debate and then conspired with an Atmore newspaper to bury the story in the back of the news paper is politics at its worst.
    Will the good people of Atmore remember this when Shells annointed successor and the rest of the regime at city hall is up for reelection?

  14. Oversight on March 7th, 2012 6:09 am

    huh wrote: “I agree, food should be tax free. I thought the Republicans hated taxes? If so, why dont they do away with it?”

    I’ll tell you why Alabama won’t stop collecting the tax on food… it’s because once government gets hooked on your tax money – like an addict on crack – it’ll do anything to keep it the status que. Besides the government needs your money to pay for all the pet projects that the people demand. So if this line of revenue goes away, you can bet on it that there’ll be some other source that you’ll have to pay.

  15. sure thing on March 7th, 2012 3:43 am

    Because a 190 mile walk really makes everyone think ‘no sales tax’

    Remember when the things people did to raise awareness about things actually pertained to what they were raising awareness about?

    Instead of doing something pointless, why not organize something where everyone (who is able) buys groceries out of state? I’m sure that would send a little bit stronger of a message…

  16. huh on March 7th, 2012 3:26 am

    I agree, food should be tax free. I thought the Republicans hated taxes? If so, why dont they do away with it?

  17. SW on March 7th, 2012 2:41 am

    It would be more useful for them to protest Alabama’s state income tax.

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