Most of next week for the first week of September should remain hot and humid. Daily highs in the low to even mid 90s with muggy mornings in the low 70s. A ... More...
Tennessee Reduces Grocery Sales Tax
By Jerry Askin
How much do you spend a month on groceries? Starting July 1st, you may see a small reduction on the amount you pay at the counter.
Governor Bill Haslam made his way to Whitwell today - signing off on a new law reducing state sales tax on food.
Tennessee state sales tax on food will soon be reduced from 5.5% to 5.25%. Governor Haslam says any reduction to help taxpayers is good news.
Cheers of joy today as hundreds met Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam at the Smith Brother's Grocery Store in Whitwell. That's where he signed the bill to reduce the sales tax on groceries on food and food ingredients.
"While it doesn't help everyone a lot, it helps everyone some, and I think that's an important first step," says Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam.
Governor Haslam says with the economy recovering and recent state department cuts, it's a tax he says will do everyone justice.
"Our job is to give you the best service we can for the lowest price ... and the price is the taxes you pay," says Governor Haslam.
Here's how it breaks down. For every $100 you spend on groceries, the new tax reduction means you will save 25 cents.
With folks already paying hundreds of dollars per month on groceries,Shoppers we talked to say any reduction is better than no reduction.
"I'm a senior citizen on a fixed income, so any kind of break we can get... We need it," says Ed Howard.
"It'll help a lot, we do foster care and there are a lot of groceries to be bought.. I mean we're at the store everyday," says Pamela Roberson.
Paul Hall doesn't support the reduction. He says the government needs to spend more money helping the people find jobs.
"It's a lot of jobs cutting going on at the time and I think I'd rather pay 10 cents more when I check out... than to have someone without a job," says Hall.
Governor Haslam plans to approve an extra .25% reduction on the grocery sales tax next year. He wants to stand by his word in lowering taxes for all residents.
The reduced tax only applies to food at grocery stores, not things like candy, alcohol, or prepared foods.
More Business News
Last Update on August 29, 2014 17:14 GMT
WASHINGTON (AP) -- U.S. consumer spending fell in July, with a drop in auto purchases accounting for most of the weakness. Income growth also slowed in July.
The Commerce Department says consumer spending edged down 0.1 percent last month after a 0.4 percent increase in June. It was the first decline in spending since January. Income growth slowed to a 0.2 percent rise in July, the weakest showing in seven months.
The fall in spending came primarily from a decline in auto sales, which took a breather in July after posting big gains in recent months, although spending in other areas was also weak.
Consumer spending accounts for 70 percent of economic activity, so it needs to recover for the economy to keep its momentum in the second half of the year.
WASHINGTON (AP) -- U.S. consumer sentiment ticked up in August, driven by greater optimism about jobs, rising incomes, and increasing wealth. The increase largely occurred among higher-income groups.
The University of Michigan says its index of consumer sentiment rose to 82.5 from 81.8 in July. Still, it has barely risen in the past year.
Consumers have sent mixed signals in recent months. The Michigan index has fluctuated between 80 and 82.5 since December. A measure of consumer confidence by the Conference Board rose this month to nearly a seven-year high. And yet Americans cut back their spending in July.
Nearly 60 percent of households in the top third of income earners say they are financially better off this month, the Michigan survey found, compared with only 36 percent in the bottom two-thirds.
DETROIT (AP) -- U.S. investors should soon be able to buy stock in Chrysler for the first time in seven years.
Italy's Fiat and Chrysler are merging to form Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. Fiat says Friday that an ongoing tally of investors suggests there is not enough opposition to derail the deal.
Earlier this month, Fiat shareholders approved combining the companies. But Italian law gives dissenters the right to cash out. Fiat has said that if investors offered more than 500 million euros ($650 million) in shares, the merger would be off.
Fiat SpA will announce the final tally by Sept. 4. So far the maximum number of shares to be cashed is below the cap.
Shares of Chrysler haven't been publicly traded since 2007 when it was still combined with German automaker Daimler.
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) -- Federal regulators are putting Reynolds American Inc.'s planned $25 billion takeover of rival cigarette maker Lorillard Inc. under the microscope.
The nation's second-biggest tobacco company said Friday that the Federal Trade Commission has asked for additional information as part of an antitrust review of the deal.
In July, Reynolds announced the deal to combine two of the nation's oldest and biggest tobacco companies, creating a formidable No. 2 to rival Altria Group Inc., owner of Philip Morris USA.
Reynolds markets Camel, Pall Mall and Natural American Spirit cigarettes. Lorillard sells Newport, Maverick and Kent cigarettes.
The companies plan to sell the Kool, Salem, Winston, Maverick and blu eCig brands to Imperial Tobacco Group for $7.1 billion to ease regulatory concerns about competition.
HEALTH OVERHAUL-TAX FORMS
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The federal agency that brought you the glitchy HealthCare.gov website has a massive new project.
If the Health and Human Services department has trouble this time, that could delay tax refunds for many people.
Complicated connections between the new health care law and income taxes will start to surface in 2015.
HHS has to send millions of people who got health insurance tax credits this year a new tax form that's like a W-2 for health care. It's called a 1095-A.
If they're delayed beyond Jan. 31, people who got coverage through the new insurance exchanges may have to wait to file their taxes -- and collect their refunds.
Some tax preparation companies are worried.
The Obama administration says it's on task, but won't provide much detail.
BRUSSELS (AP) -- Inflation has fallen to an annual 0.3 percent in August for the 18 countries that use the euro, underlining the shakiness of the continent's economic recovery.
Eurostat, the EU statistics agency, says the figure is down from 0.4 percent in July, as expected by market analysts.
Core inflation, which excludes volatile food and energy, sent a modestly brighter signal as it rose to 0.9 percent from 0.8 percent.
The eurozone economy showed no growth in the second quarter as fears about the Ukrainian crisis weighed on consumers and investment decisions.
The European Central Bank has warned that inflation expectations are worsening and says it will add more stimulus if needed. Many analysts are predicting the bank will launch large-scale purchases of financial assets to pump more money into the economy.
SAO PAULO (AP) -- Brazil's government says the country's gross domestic product contracted 0.6 percent in the second quarter compared with the previous three months, sending the country's economy into a recession.
The government's IBGE statistics bureau said Friday it was the second consecutive quarterly contraction of the economy.
In the first quarter of the year, GDP was reported as having grown 0.2 percent. But that figure was revised downward to minus 0.2 percent.
The IBGE says the country's GDP stands at 1.27 trillion reals ($567 billion).
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