Minn. House Committee Hears 'Snack Tax' Bill

Updated: 03/14/2013 7:51 AM KSTP.com By: Stephen Tellier

From popcorn to pretzels, and cookies to corn chips - a new bill would slap the state sales tax on a wide range of snack foods, and it could make your grocery bill balloon.

The so-called "snack tax" bill would apply Minnesota's sales tax to potato chips, pretzels, cheese puffs, popcorn, nuts, trail mix, cookies, pastries, and ice cream.
 
The bill was heard in a House committee for the first time on Wednesday afternoon, but no vote was taken.
 
5 EYEWITNESS NEWS went to Tim and Tom's Speedy Market in St. Paul and stocked up on pretty much everything on the list - 16 different items. Right now, not a single one of them is subject to the state sales tax.
 
We paid a total of $48.27. If all of the items we bought got hit with Minnesota's sales tax, we would have paid an extra $3.32. But here's the bill's catch: it would only apply to packaged items that are eight ounces or less, exempting some of the larger snacks we bought. So if that bill becomes law, we would actually only have paid an extra $1.52. 
 
"I think it may be a piece of the puzzle, but it is a very complicated issue. It's not going to solve everything," said Susan Lundy, a clinical nutrition manager for Abbott Northwestern and Unity Hospitals, when asked about the bill.
 
According to a recent study, at least 14 other states apply their sales tax to snack foods like chips, pretzels, and baked goods. But of course, those tax rates vary from state to state.