New Article: Anna Johnson & Steven M. Sheffrin, Rethinking The Sales Tax Food Exclusion With SNAP Benefits, 79 State Tax Notes 149 (Jan. 11, 2016). Abstract below:
Most states either totally or partially exclude food at home from the general sales tax. This exclusion generates a debate between tax policy analysts with their emphasis on broad base, low-rate tax systems against the advocates for the poor who argue that the exemption for food is necessary on distributional grounds. States that do tax food at home are often singled out as having particularly regressive and punitive tax systems. What is missing from this debate is a serious discussion of the consequences of non-taxability of benefits under the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (food stamps). We present evidence that the SNAP program effectively reaches the vast majority of the poor thus making the taxability of food at home much less important for individuals in lower income tiers.
-Thanks to http://taxprof.typepad.com/ for the heads up!