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Nutella vs. Peanut Butter: How Sales Tax Could Determine Your Purchase

Residents in Maine found themselves a new set of complex rules subjecting previously-exempted foods and beverages to their grocery shopping lists effective January 1, 2016. Foods among this list include confectionery spreads such as marshmallow fluff, hazelnut, or chocolate spreads.

According to an article, "Peanut and other nut butters remain exempt from sales tax as a grocery staple. Nut lovers shouldn’t get too excited; while peanut butter, which is generally made by grinding peanuts, is exempt from sales tax, nuts and seeds that have been processed by salting, spicing, smoking, roasting or other means, including shelling, are now subject to sales tax."

According to the Portland Press Herald, “The broad expansion of taxable grocery items is part of a two-year, $6.7 billion budget plan lawmakers approved in June, which contains modest property and income tax cuts.…State officials have estimated that the change in sales tax policy will generate an additional $97 million in revenue in the 2017 fiscal year."

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