Taxing our daily bread

While most states don’t charge sales tax on food, some do and some are trying to do so. 

But everyone knows that government takes money from its citizens, taxes, which it transforms into agricultural subsidies, the bulk of which go to the largest farms. Very little benefits the mid to small sized farms.

Add in local, state and federal governments which also tax the income of food producers — who then pass these costs, these taxes, along to the consumer in the form of higher food prices — and you can see that, yes, we do tax food. 

And then there are gasoline taxes, also factored into our food prices, another tax on food. 

So the consumer pays taxes on food when:

  1. states charge sales tax on groceries;
  2. our taxes are used for agricultural subsidies;
  3. consumers reimburse, via the cost of any food product, individual farmers and farming corporations for any income taxes paid to governments;
  4. the fuel used in the production and transportation of food is taxed.

So, yes, Virginia, we do tax food. Several times.

And farmers just pass those taxes along to you, the consumer, in the form of higher food prices.

Perhaps, when we discuss eliminating all subsidies to food producers, large and small, we should talk about eliminating all local, state and federal taxes on income earned from food production?

Such a food policy would greatly improve the lives of small farmers overnight! 

And eliminating taxes on food, wherever they occur in the system, would immediately decrease food prices — a win win for everyone, whether you live in the country or the city.


Cartoon courtesy of End the Food Tax in South Dakota.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *