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New TN laws and changes to take effect on July 1

9:05 PM, Jun 29, 2013   |    comments
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The state sales and use tax rate on food and food ingredients will go from 5.25% to 5% on July 1 in Tennessee.

(WBIR-Knoxville) On Monday July 1st a number of new laws will take effect in Tennessee.

Most of the bills are minor changes to existing laws, including tax reform.

The state sales and use tax rate on food and food ingredients will go from 5.25% to 5%.

"I just have one child and I have two grandchildren and one great grandchild and I just want to do everything for them which is why I work a part-time job, to give them more. So being able to save some at the grocery store, that's a help," said Elaine Beeler, who was grocery shopping at Midway IGA in Corryton on Saturday.

Beer tax will go from price-based to volume-based. While setting up for this year's Knoxville BrewFest, Craft Beer Brand Manager Jeremy Walker with Eagle Distributing Company explained the change.

"If a case is $20 it was taxed at 17%, if it goes up to $25 it gets taxed at 17%, $30... 17%. So it was a punitive tax. It was more or less penalizing higher priced beers. Now it evens the playing field and bases it solely on volume," Walker said.

According to the state, beer sales have declined by 5% in Tennessee within the past decade.

Tennessee's ignition interlock law will apply to more drunk driving offenders, including first-time DUI offenders.

The law forces drivers to pass breath tests in order to start vehicles.

Also, nearly 400,000 Tennesseans with handgun permits, plus those from other states, can carry their guns in their vehicles at all times, as long as they remain in a locked vehicle.

Click here to read the full list of changes effective on July 1.

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