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October 20, 2019Cart

Business

by Fairfield County Business Journal
by FCBJ

Connecticut issues guidance on foods and drinks to receive higher sales tax

Connecticut’s Department of Revenue Services has issued a policy statement detailing which foods and drink will be subject to a higher sales tax beginning on Oct. 1.

According to the statement, the sales tax – which is being raised from 6.35% to 7.35% – will apply to all ready-to-eat meals, both served in a restaurant and purchased in a grocery store.

“Meal is defined as food products that are furnished, prepared or served in such a form and in such portions that they are ready for immediate consumption,” according to the policy statement. “A meal includes food products that are sold on a ‘take out’ or ‘to go’ basis and that are actually packaged or wrapped. Taxable meals include: All food and beverages sold for human consumption at the seller’s location; and food products ordinarily sold in such form and portions that are ready for immediate consumption at or near the location of the seller. This includes prepared foods, prepackaged foods, hot foods, and foods heated on the premises for the purchaser.”

The policy statement also offered a lengthy list of items that will be subject to the higher sales tax. These include individual servings of ice cream and frozen desserts sold in container of less than one pint, salads sold at salad bars, loose cookies, individually prepared bagels, smoothies, meal replacement bars, popcorn that has been warmed for purchase and individual slices of cake and pie. Drinks that will carry the higher sales tax include “all spirituous, malt liquors, vinous liquors, soft drinks, sodas, and all other beverages that are of a type ordinarily dispensed at bars and soda fountains.”

Republican legislators expressed outrage at the depth and scope of the taxable items during a press conference in Hartford.

“It is simply a money grab, that’s all it is,” Senate Minority Leader Len Fasano said.

“It opens up so many items to taxation,” Deputy House Minority Leader Vincent Candelora said. “At best this was sloppy work and it was reckless. At worst it was very purposeful.”