Virginia Democrat gubernatorial candidate Ralph Northam has been having some trouble nailing down the specifics on his grocery tax proposal. A week after struggling at a debate when pressed on his plan, Northam discussed his grocery tax proposal at an event in Vienna on May 8:
RALPH NORTHAM: “There are other regressive taxes, let’s think about the grocery – the food tax. Think about people – most people won’t even go to the grocery store. Five and three quarters, six percent, you don’t think about it a whole lot but those people that perhaps are living on minimum wage, that means a lot to those individuals so we have proposed to scale back – to get rid of – the grocery tax…”
Given this statement, it appears Ralph Northam doesn’t actually know what the current grocery tax rate is in Virginia. While he claimed it to be 5 and three quarters to 6 percent, in reality it’s much lower. The Virginia Tax Code reads:
“Effective July 1, 2005, the combined state and local sales and use tax rate on food for home consumption will be 2 [and]1/2%.”
If Ralph Northam is going to propose changes to Virginia’s grocery tax as a key part of his campaign platform, he should at least know what the current rate is. Like with much of his policy proposals, Ralph Northam offers plenty of style but zero substance when it comes to putting forward ideas to solve the people of Virginia’s challenges.