State issues new guidelines to avoid so-called ‘grocery tax’

A new so-called “grocery tax” will not happen after all, according to new guidelines issued Thursday night by Connecticut’s Department of Revenue Services.
The revised statement says that grocery stores are not subject to the state’s 7.35 meals tax, except in areas where sales tax is currently charged, like salad and snack bars, as well as catering operations.
Last week, shoppers and grocers protested after DRS issued guidelines expanding the meals tax to everything from rotisserie chickens to small bags of salad, cookies, and bagels. Even popsicles and meal replacement bars were included.

The changes were set to take effect on Oct. 1.
“The original guidance created by DRS was too broadly interpreted and not reflective of what was intended when the budget was passed,” Gov. Ned Lamont said in a statement. 
DRS initially said the new state budget, which includes the words “grocery stores,” caused them to expand the meals tax definition.
The move may not satisfy Republicans. They have insisted that state lawmakers must return to Hartford for a special session to change the state budget wording.