Virginia to cut 1.5% in sales tax for groceries, hygiene items starting New Year’s

For Virginians, bills at the grocery store will soon be a little less expensive. That’s because the state has repealed its 1.5% sales tax on groceries and certain essential personal hygiene items, effective Jan. 1, 2023.

Among personal hygiene items, bed sheets, diapers and feminine hygiene products, such as period underwear and tampons, will qualify for the tax reduction.

Grocery items that don’t qualify for the tax reduction include:

  • alcoholic beverages
  • tobacco
  • prepared hot foods packaged for immediate consumption on or off premises
  • seeds and plants used to grow food for home consumption

See a list of exempt and nonexempt items at the Virginia Tax website.

Even though Virginia will no longer impose the 1.5% tax, local governments can still impose their own 1% sales tax on groceries.

Republican Del. Joe McNamara, a strong supporter of the change, said the grocery tax has taken a larger percentage from low-income earners than from middle and high-income earners.

“This bill helps low-income families. I cannot think of another tax that is more regressive-oriented,” McNamara said, adding the tax change could save a family of four around $200 per year.

Nick Iannelli

Nick Iannelli can be heard covering developing and breaking news stories on WTOP.

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