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Ainsworth: Grocery tax cut better than one-time rebate

Alabama Lt. Gov. Will Ainsworth believes now is the best time to cut the grocery tax, and is pushing legislators in Montgomery to get it done.

Ainsworth discussed the issue Friday on WVNN’s “The Yaffee Program.”

“I want to eliminate the grocery tax completely and I’m open to different suggestions on it because the Legislature’s ultimately going to introduce and pass the bill,” he said. “I think it’s time to get rid of the grocery tax. Inflation is killing our country, is killing our state, it’s killing everybody going to buy goods now.”

Ainsworth said he supports doing the tax cut while the state’s economy is strong.

“The economy’s doing well, our budgets are doing well, we’ve seen nine years of growth, we’re going to continue to have more growth, so I think with that it’s time to cut taxes,” he said. “Whether we phase it out or we do it all at once, I support every plan the Legislature comes up with on that, but I’m going to continue to push that now is the time get rid of the grocery tax.”

Ainsworth emphasized the need to cut the tax sooner rather than later.

“I really just want to challenge everybody out there,” he said. “If we don’t do it now, then when are we going to do this? Because we have record growth in our economy, we have a billion-dollar surplus, and if we can’t cut taxes in Alabama, then when are we going to do it?

“This is a tax that everybody pays and is certainly going to help everybody and, in my opinion, it’s a lot better than just a one-time rebate.”

He also addressed the concern by some who fear the future loss of revenue that comes from the tax.

“My answer to that is you do the same thing you in business and your personal life, you cut expenses,” he said. “And certainly government has things it could cut as well, and it’d be easy to cut out 5%-10% of our budget. There’s a lot of things in the education budget that aren’t even education-related, it’d be easy to cut that out.

“My belief on government and I think what we need to get back to and I think what most Republicans believe that when government grows you give money back to the people, you don’t continue to expand the government.”

Ainsworth said he’s optimistic that the idea has enough support in the Legislature to get it accomplished this session.

“Getting a lot of support for certainly doing something, acting this session, and I think we will get something passed,” he said. “I can’t tell you exactly what bill that’s going to be, there’s a lot of different bill being drafted, but I think something will pass to reduce or eliminate the grocery tax this session, and that’s encouraging and going to be a good thing for our state.”

Yaffee is a contributing writer to Yellowhammer News and hosts “The Yaffee Program” weekdays 9-11 a.m. on WVNN. You can follow him on Twitter @Yaffee

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