Gov. Bill Haslam chose a local mom and pop meat and produce market in Mt. Juliet to laud the new food tax reduction that took effect last Saturday as part of the IMPROVE Act.
On hand, City Manager Kenneth Martin said it was the perfect place to salute the food tax reduction.
The food tax reduction is related to the governor's IMPROVE Act. Haslam mingled with locals, and state and city representatives at Houston's Meat and Produce Thursday and even told those who packed the small market he was going to purchase, with the new lowered tax, a great piece of gourmet meat from Houston's.
The Governor explained the IMPROVE Act would fund 960 new road projects in 95 counties (10 in Wilson County) as well as reduced the food sales tax from 5 percent to 4 percent.
"This is a 20 percent cut in food tax you pay," he said.
Owner of Houston's, Chris Houston, said it was his "Most exciting day to honor the presence of Gov. Haslam in our store."
Wilson County Mayor Randall Hutto jumped off the exciting news of the food tax reduction that cuts "$125 million in sales tax on groceries."
"They [local leadership] had to make a stand with the IMPROVE Act," said Hutto of the IMPROVE Act that raised the gas tax, but in turn lowered the food sales tax. "I appreciate the stand you took for lowering sales food tax and road improvements."
According to Haslam, the controversial gas tax was raised by 4 cents on every gallon, but allowed for $10.5 billion in road repairs and also allowed the food tax cut.
State Rep. Susan Lynn addressed the crowd. She noted the IMPROVE Act was an "extremely important part of Wilson County economics.
"We will save more with the IMPROVE Act," she said. "I honestly did not know how the Governor would make it happen. Tennesseans buy groceries every single day...people who drive through don't."
Haslam noted Tennessee government shrunk by $500,000 as of July 1 and "about 10 states hadn't even cut their fiscal budget yet."
"We were able to cut the one tax everyone in Tennessee pays, and that is the tax on food," Haslam said.