Certain groceries to face state’s restaurant tax

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The cost of groceries in Connecticut could be going up.

Those items include rotisserie chickens, pre-packaged spinach or lettuce under 8 ounces and ice cream under a pint.

According to the Connecticut Department of Revenue Services, the new state budget considers all those items, and more, to be "meals" and subject to the state's restaurant tax.

In Hartford Thursday, Republicans said Gov. Ned Lamont broke his promise to taxpayers.

"The grocery tax is back,” says state Sen. Len Fasano (R-North Haven). “You look at this budget and you will see that predominantly grocery store items are going to be taxed where they’re not taxed. They're going to be taxed at 7.35%.”

Gov. Lamont says this is an attempt to level the playing field for restaurants who are trying to compete with grocery stores.

"Why should the price of a bagel vary from Stop & Shop to your local neighborhood Dunkin’?" asked his spokesman.

Critics say the governor is comparing apples to oranges.

"The idea of a grocery store is, you take it home for consumption,” says Fasano. "That's the whole idea of a grocery. That's the functioning aspect of a grocery store."

The taxes go into effect on Oct. 1.

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