List of taxable groceries unclear after Gov. Lamont backtracks

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After the state tax office came out with a list of grocery items that would be taxed for the first time, Gov. Ned Lamont backtracked Tuesday and promised that dozens of items will not face new taxes after all.

The list initially included things like rotisserie chickens, bagels, cookies, even lettuce -- all beginning Oct. 1. The Department of Revenue Services said those items would be subject to the 7% "meals tax" under the new state budget.

But Gov. Lamont said Tuesday the tax department misinterpreted the new budget, and he vowed to fix it before the new taxes kick in. His budget chief, Melissa McCaw, promised swift action.

"At the end of the day, we know what we negotiated with our partners in the legislature, and it is our intent to ensure that, that is what is implemented," said McCaw.

Shoppers aren't sure what they'll be paying in two weeks.

"You're saying, 'What's going on here,' you know?" said Jeanette Kopchik, of Shelton. "I always bought this ... Why do I have to buy more or less, you know? It's silly."

The governor and tax officials held a conference call Tuesday afternoon to try to sort it out.

Republicans believe correcting the issue will require lawmakers to return to Hartford for a special legislative session.

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