House Bill Would Establish Federal Tax Holiday for Food Store Workers
Reps. Glenn “GT” Thompson, R, Pa., and Dwight Evans, D, Pa., have introduced a bill designed to help U.S. grocery and convenience store workers affected by the coronavirus pandemic: H.R. 6567, the Giving Retailers and Our Convenience Employees Relief Act, or GROCER Act.
The bipartisan legislation would establish a federal tax holiday from Feb. 15 through June 15 for such workers making less than $75,000 annually, and also enable the U.S. Treasury to extend the benefit for another three months at its discretion.
“Grocery and convenience store workers are among the unsung heroes of our battle with COVID-19 and have played a vital role in the national food supply chain,” noted Thompson. “The GROCER Act is a simple way of saying ‘thank you’ to the men and women who put themselves on the front lines, sanitizing, stocking and serving communities by putting a little more of their hard-earned money back in their paychecks.”
“Our grocery and convenience store employees are serving on the front lines, making sure the rest of us have the food and other crucial supplies we need to get through this pandemic,” said Evans. “This bipartisan four-month income-tax holiday would be a way to thank these vital workers and help them meet their own needs.”
Trade organizations backing the bill include FMI – The Food Industry Association and the National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS).
“We appreciate Reps. Thompson and Evans’ leadership on the GROCER Act,” noted Jennifer Hatcher, chief public policy officer at Arlington, Va.-based FMI. “This legislation recognizes the efforts the food industry has contributed as critical infrastructure and gives them well-deserved tax relief for their commitment to ensuring that grocery stores are able to remain open and stocked to serve all of us during this national emergency.
Continued Hatcher: “Supermarket workers remain on the job and are truly essential to America’s coronavirus response. They are working each day during this pandemic, which presents extraordinary challenges while schools, transportation and other businesses are closed, and we are extremely grateful for their commitment.”
“Convenience store associates are indeed on the front line of the COVID-19 crisis in every community around the country by providing the food, fuel, and necessities required by their customers,” said Henry Armour, CEO of Alexandria, Va.-based NACS. “The relief provided by the GROCER Act is a welcome response to these heroes who have continued to serve their communities.”