A photo of a Black woman in a face mask holding a sign that says 'Month Groceries' with a list of items and $14.62 total Utah Sales Tax. Utah community leaders and state lawmakers gathered on Wednesday afternoon in Salt Lake City to urge state leaders to eliminate the sales tax on food.

Behind them, cars were lining up in the Smith’s Ballpark parking lot to get free turkeys, and stuffing for Thanksgiving.

Earlier this week, Rep. Rosemary Lesser, D-Ogden, announced that she is sponsoring a bill that would eliminate the state tax.

She said low-income families or people on fixed incomes are disproportionately impacted and it takes up a big portion of their budget. One in 10 Utah households experience food insecurity, a report from the Utah Food Security Task Force found.

Right now the statewide grocery tax is 3% and more than half of that goes to the state.

“States have been attracted to a tax on food because it’s a steady stream of revenue,” Lesser said. “However, in the last two decades, more states have come to the conclusion that taxing essential items such as food is not a good choice for their population.”

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