Davis talks about sales tax change

Published 7:59 pm Friday, April 23, 2010

SELMA — A small group of people sat in a semi-circle in the waiting area of Inter Link Drugs here and listened to Democratic gubernatorial hopeful Artur Davis talk about the sales tax on drugs and groceries.

He talked about how much the state sales tax — 4 percent — took more of poor people’s money than it did the rich, although the tax amount is the same.

He talked about the Alabama Legislature finishing the session this week without doing anything about the regressive tax when unemployment is the highest since he was a ninth-grader in Montgomery.

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He talked about in Alabama how a family of four pays $400 a year in sales tax on food and over-the-counter medicines, such as Tylenol or aspirin or baby formula.

Some of the folks in the room talked back.

“I think we don’t need sales tax on food and over-the-county medicines,” said Willie Davidson.

Others agreed.

Davis talked about the current leadership in the state, a Republican governor who did not support the recent legislative efforts to cut the sales tax on food and drugs.

The failure to support the measure is for two reasons, Davis told the little group: He doesn’t think it’s an important issue and because he isn’t pushing for it, the legislature is not moved.

But change is coming, Davis promised.

“Change is one governor away in this state,” he said.