Fresh bread lovers of the world, unite! You have nothing to lose but your grains! | Arkansas Blog

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Fresh bread lovers of the world, unite! You have nothing to lose but your grains!

Posted By on Wed, Mar 25, 2015 at 6:45 AM

click to enlarge DAVIS: Likes his bread TO GO.
  • DAVIS: Likes his bread TO GO.
We’ve entered the WTF portion of bill filing. Here’s a strange one: a bill sponsored by Rep. Andy Davis to exempt baked goods sold for “off-premises consumption" from being subject to the A&P tax (the hamburger tax). It passed out of Revenue and Tax yesterday. Huh? I asked Davis, WTF?

He responded:

You buy bread at the grocery store. It’s taxed like groceries.

If you go buy a loaf of bread at the local bakery (maybe because your kid is gluten intolerant) – if that bakery also serves, say, sandwiches for onsite consumption, then your bread is taxed like restaurant food, including A&P tax.

This doesn’t get the bread from the bakery down to grocery tax levels, but does eliminate the A&P tax.

Now, on the one hand, I totally love to buy bread for off-premises consumption, so if I can save some change, hooray for me. That said, this is an awfully strange carve-out for bakeries and bakery consumers (the tax is charged to the consumer at the point of sale). Applying the same logic, why not exempt butchers who sell meat to go? Same thing: it’s no different than a grocery store purchase. It’s not clear why baked goods are special in this way.

Davis said that he thought butchers might have a good argument. So there you go. Davis said he ran the bill at the request of a constituent, Mark Johnson, a some-time lobbyist.

You know, WTF might be a good series in the waning days of the General Assembly. If you have any bills you’re curious about, leave a note in the comments.

p.s. A reader wondered whether Ed Garner, the Republican crony currently working in Treasurer Dennis Milligan’s office, might be involved; Garner owns a bakery and has had issues not paying his taxes on it in the past. Davis said no, nothing to do with Garner. 

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