LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Joseph Bellino on Wednesday denounced Senate passage of legislation by Michigan Democrats to expand sales and use taxes on prepared food.
“I happen to think there’s no good time for a tax hike, but Democrats choosing this moment to raise food taxes has to take the cake for worst possible timing,” said Bellino, R-Monroe. “Inflation has made putting food on the kitchen table more expensive than it’s been in decades — and yet Lansing Democrats think now is a good time to make it even more expensive?”
House Bills 4377 and 4378 would amend Michigan’s use tax and sales tax acts to add definitions of the terms “food sold with eating utensils provided by the seller” and “food sold in an unheated state by weight or volume as a single item” as they relate to the definition of “prepared food” and the exemption of the sale or purchase of food or food ingredients.
Bellino said that some of the examples that might confuse retailers and consumers are that the taxes would apply to unsweetened iced tea but not sweetened iced tea and to a bag of Better Made chips made in Detroit but not a bag of M&Ms made in Tennessee.
“These bills are unnecessarily complicated, confusing, contradictory, convoluted and costly. They’re basically everything except common sense,” Bellino said.
The measures now head back to the House to be enrolled and presented to the governor.