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Ricketts, state grocers fighting sales tax expansion proposals

Ricketts, state grocers fighting sales tax expansion proposals

Gov. Pete Ricketts is joining forces with Nebraska’s grocery industry to fight proposals that would impose taxes on bottled water, pop and sugary items such as candy to reduce property taxes.

Ricketts objected Wednesday to the proposal under consideration in the Legislature’s Revenue Committee. Those items are exempt from state sales taxes, but some lawmakers want to eliminate the exemptions to generate more tax revenue that they would then use to lower property taxes.

Ricketts calls the proposal “reverse Robin Hood” because it would shift the tax burden onto low-income people who are disproportionately affected by sales taxes.

Kathy Siefken of the Nebraska Grocery Industry Association says the legal definition of candy is more complicated than it seems. It includes certain types of gum, protein bars, chips and marshmallows.

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