General Question

flo's avatar

Why tax a jar of peanuts but not a package of cookies?

Asked by flo (11457points) November 24th, 2017

Peanuts are healthy food if not overly processed, right?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

16 Answers

zenvelo's avatar

Healthiness of the peanuts has nothing to do with it.

Where I live, neither are taxed.

Taxes like this are on a state by state basis.

Maybe your state taxes anything in a jar.

JLeslie's avatar

What state?

Strauss's avatar

I don’t know which state, but some states tax grocery sales, but not ready-to-eat items.

snowberry's avatar

But a jar of peanuts and a package of cookies are both ready to eat! And both are considered snack foods!

JLeslie's avatar


Are they both packed by a commercial food company? Sold on a shelf in the supermarket? Or, are you comparing Keebler to peanuts sold at a sport venue, or vice versa.

elbanditoroso's avatar

There is no rhyme or reason. See this chart: link

You have to ask this – are there agricultural lobbyists that make a point for one exemption or another.

Here in Georgia, peanuts get to be tax exempt.

JLeslie's avatar

^^That chart is incorrect. TN taxes groceries. In recent years it has lowered the tax on groceries to 5% I think? But, they are still taxing unless something changed very very recently. Each county can impose more tax above the state sales tax. I think Shelby county, where I lived, still charges 7.5% tax on groceries, more or less.

Southern states tend to tax groceries, or maybe it’s red states? There are exceptions of course. Most Democrats see it as regressive and harming the poor unfairly.

MrGrimm888's avatar

Probably an old agricultural law. Like taxing tobacco, or tea leaves. That’s my guess.

flo's avatar

I was asking about all countries, states, provinces where this happens.
It makes no sense to me to tax food., esp. brocolli and they like. I used to think cookies and the like are not necessity food items but what if they are on sale and that is all they can afford? I don’t care how much less a healthy item is if they don’t have anyhwere to cook it in.

flo's avatar

…I mean the homeless, re. ” ...that is all they can afford? I don’t care how much less a healthy item (costs when on sale) if they don’t have anyhwere to cook it in.”

flo's avatar

Thanks all.

@elbanditoroso You’re right no rhyme or reason.
@snowberry Anything can be either snack food or a main meal, Some people eat raw cauliflower etc. as is. That’s ready to eat to them.

JLeslie's avatar

@flo So, do you even know of a place that taxes peanuts and not cookies?

snowberry's avatar

@flo Yup. I’ve done it!

flo's avatar

@JLeslie The OP is not about whether I know of a place or not.
@snowberry Were you eating it as a snack food or part of your main meal?

snowberry's avatar

With Rob vegetables, t’s gone both ways. We have eaten them as part of the whole meal and as a snack food

flo's avatar

Ok. I guess they have to classify them some way.

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