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Posted: Friday, February 7th, 2014 12:34 PM HST

Hawaii weighs lifting taxes on groceries

By Associated Press

HONOLULU (AP) Hawaii would exempt groceries and medical services from its general excise tax under bills advancing through the state legislature.

Supporters of the bills say that Hawaii is one of the few states that taxes groceries. They call grocery taxes a burden poor people feel the most.

Grassroot Institute of Hawaii President Kelii Akina told lawmakers yesterday that a family of four in Hawaii spends on average $1,000 a month on groceries. He says that's twice the national average. Cutting state taxes, he says, would save such a family $450 a year.

Under another bill lawmakers are considering, the state would double the tax credits it offers to renters who make less than $30,000 a year.

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