Wisconsin removes cranberry snacks from tax authorities
Do you celebrate Thanksgiving by tossing Craisins in your salad?
If so, the State Revenue Department (DOR) and the Wisconsin State Cranberry Growers Association want you to know that, for the first time, they are exempt from tax.
Until this year, Craisins – or any brand of dried, sweetened cranberries besides those with that trademarked name from cranberry giant Ocean Spray – were treated like candy under sales tax law. of Wisconsin. This changed with the adoption of the 2021-2023 biennial state budget.
The law originally defined dried cranberries – which are found in trail mixes, salads, and post-game snacks at children’s football games – as candy because they are sweetened with juice before. to be dried, explains Maria Guerra Lapacek, deputy under-secretary at the DOR. Wisconsin imposes a sales tax on sweets, so dried cranberries have been taxed since their introduction in 1990.
A year ago, Wisconsin and cranberry growers persuaded a group that is developing sales tax standards for allow states remove sweetened dried fruit from the list of candies for tax purposes. For two decades, the Simplified Sales Tax Council has worked with its 24 participating states to make their sales tax systems simpler and more consistent.
The board approved a Wisconsin amendment stating that any member state “may exclude from its definition of ‘candy’ a preparation which has as its main ingredient dried or partially dried fruit with one or more sweeteners, and which may also contain other additives, including but not limited to oils, natural flavors, fibers or preservatives.
With this change, Wisconsin was free to revise its sales tax law, removing dried cranberries from the candy list, and a provision to that effect was added to the new budget, which Gov. Tony Evers signed in. July.
Of course, it’s not as simple as saying “dried cranberries are not candy”. The language that is in addition to the existing definition of what is and is not Candy can be found here.
On Tuesday of Thanksgiving week as National Cranberry Day, DOR Secretary Peter Barca and Wisconsin State Cranberry Growers Association Executive Director Tom Lochner sent a triumphant statement applauding the now untaxed snack Barca boasting that “Wisconsin is the largest and best cranberry producer in the country.
The association calculates that Wisconsin’s cranberry juice economy earns $ 1 billion a year while employing thousands of people in the state. Cranberry growers in what some call the Badger State and others the Dairy State produce more than half of the world’s cranberries; they’ve been the world’s largest fruit producer for 27 years, which may justify adding the Cranberry State to Wisconsin’s list of nicknames.
With the dried variety moving from taxed as a candy to untaxed as a non-candy, Lochner added, “Now Wisconsinites can buy and enjoy this nutritious food without the burden of sales tax just like any other dried fruit.”
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