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Tennessee Reduces Grocery Sales Tax
By Jerry Askin
How much do you spend a month on groceries? Starting July 1st, you may see a small reduction on the amount you pay at the counter.
Governor Bill Haslam made his way to Whitwell today - signing off on a new law reducing state sales tax on food.
Tennessee state sales tax on food will soon be reduced from 5.5% to 5.25%. Governor Haslam says any reduction to help taxpayers is good news.
Cheers of joy today as hundreds met Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam at the Smith Brother's Grocery Store in Whitwell. That's where he signed the bill to reduce the sales tax on groceries on food and food ingredients.
"While it doesn't help everyone a lot, it helps everyone some, and I think that's an important first step," says Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam.
Governor Haslam says with the economy recovering and recent state department cuts, it's a tax he says will do everyone justice.
"Our job is to give you the best service we can for the lowest price ... and the price is the taxes you pay," says Governor Haslam.
Here's how it breaks down. For every $100 you spend on groceries, the new tax reduction means you will save 25 cents.
With folks already paying hundreds of dollars per month on groceries,Shoppers we talked to say any reduction is better than no reduction.
"I'm a senior citizen on a fixed income, so any kind of break we can get... We need it," says Ed Howard.
"It'll help a lot, we do foster care and there are a lot of groceries to be bought.. I mean we're at the store everyday," says Pamela Roberson.
Paul Hall doesn't support the reduction. He says the government needs to spend more money helping the people find jobs.
"It's a lot of jobs cutting going on at the time and I think I'd rather pay 10 cents more when I check out... than to have someone without a job," says Hall.
Governor Haslam plans to approve an extra .25% reduction on the grocery sales tax next year. He wants to stand by his word in lowering taxes for all residents.
The reduced tax only applies to food at grocery stores, not things like candy, alcohol, or prepared foods.
More Business News
Last Update on April 16, 2014 07:33 GMT
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The Nikkei jumped 2.7 percent as Softbank Corp. shares soared more than 8 percent after Chinese e-commerce Alibaba Group Holding Co., in which it holds a 37 percent state, reported strong earnings.
The dollar gained against the yen and slipped against the euro. Benchmark U.S. crude oil rose to near $104 a barrel.
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Commerce Department leads off today's economic reports with March housing starts. Home construction has fallen for the previous three months, but February's report had a ray of hope as applications for building permits had risen a solid 7.7 percent. We'll see this morning whether that's starting to show up.
We'll also get some updates from the Federal Reserve. In the morning, the central bank releases data on industrial production for last month. Factory output showed a strong rebound in February after winter storm led to a steep drop in January.
This afternoon, the Fed releases its Beige Book, a survey of regional of business conditions.
Another big bank leads off today's corporate earnings reports. Bank of America reports quarterly financial results before the market opens.
After today's close, we get numbers from American Express, Capital One, Google and IBM.
DETROIT (AP) -- General Motors plans to ask a federal bankruptcy judge to shield the company from legal claims for conduct that occurred before its 2009 bankruptcy.
The automaker's strategy is in a motion filed late last night a Corpus Christi, Texas, federal court case, and in other cases across the nation that involve the defective ignition switches that have led GM to recall 2.6 million small cars.
The motion asks U.S. District Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos to delay action on the lawsuit until the bankruptcy court rules and other federal courts decide if the case should be combined with other lawsuits. But GM says it's not asking to halt action on a motion to force GM to tell customers not to drive their cars that are being recalled.
GM has said at least 13 deaths have been linked to a switch that can unexpectedly slip out of the "run" position, shutting down the engine, knocking out power-assisted steering and power brakes, and disabling the air bags.
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The results highlight the contrasting performances of Yahoo's investment portfolio and the company's business of running ad-supported online services. Yahoo is making most of its money from its stakes in two Asian Internet companies -- China's Alibaba Group and Yahoo Japan.
Meanwhile, Yahoo's ad revenue remains stuck in a funk, although some segments showed modest improvement in the first quarter.
Yahoo earned $312 million, or 29 cents per share, during the first three months of this year. That compared to $390 million, or 35 cents per share, at the same time last year.
Revenue dipped 1 percent to $1.13 billion.
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Intel reports earnings of $1.95 billion, or 38 cents per share, in the January-March quarter. That's down from 40 cents per share in the first quarter of last year but still a penny better than analysts surveyed by FactSet had predicted.
Revenue grew 1 percent to $12.8 billion.
Intel has been challenged by a shift in consumer spending away from PCs. Although Intel is the leader in making chips for PCs, it hasn't done as well selling processors for smartphones and tablets. Intel has been working to change that.
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CSX estimates the snow and cold cost it 8 to 9 cents per share in lost revenue and increased expenses.
CSX reports net income of $398 million, or 40 cents per share, in the quarter ending March 31. That's down 5 cents per share from a year ago, but a penny better than analysts had expected according to FactSet.
The railroad's revenue grew 2 percent to just over $3 billion as it hauled 3 percent more freight. Increases in intermodal and merchandise shipments offset coal weakness.
CSX says it expects modest profit growth this year.
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The drug can cause severe allergic reactions and shouldn't be used by patients with severe asthma.
Merck will market the tablet in North America. Its partner, ALK-Abello, sells it in Europe as Grazas.
Merck says Grastek will be available in U.S. pharmacies in late April.
BOSTON (AP) -- A federal judge has blocked Massachusetts from banning the powerful new painkiller Zohydro.
The judge issued a preliminary injunction Tuesday after pharmaceutical company, Zogenix, argued in a lawsuit that the ban issued by Gov. Deval Patrick is unconstitutional. The judge says Massachusetts appears to have overstepped its authority in banning a federally approved medication.
The San Diego-based drugmaker is hailing the ruling.
Patrick says he's disappointed and the state will look for other ways to combat its drug abuse problem. The state argued Zohydro would exacerbate illegal drug use because it can be easily crushed, then snorted or injected to create an immediate and potentially lethal high.
The National Alliance for Model State Drug Laws says the Massachusetts ban is believed to be the first attempt by a state to block a federally approved drug.
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Tina Bassett, a spokeswoman for the city's general pension fund, says retirees would see a 4.5 percent cut and their cost-of-living payments would be eliminated under a deal reached late Tuesday.
Hours earlier, a group representing retired police and firefighters announced that it had reached its own deal to preserve pension benefits but trim cost-of-living payments.
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SMARTPHONE KILL SWITCH-WIRELESS INDUSTRY
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- A trade group for wireless providers says the country's biggest smartphone makers and carriers will soon put anti-theft tools on the devices to try to deter rampant theft.
CTIA-The Wireless Association says that under a "Smartphone Anti-Theft Voluntary Commitment," the providers agree to install a free preloaded or downloadable anti-theft tool on smartphones sold in the U.S. after July 2015.
The wireless industry has said putting a permanent "kill switch" on phones has serious risks, including potential vulnerability to hackers.
San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon and New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman have demanded that the wireless industry create kill switches. They say CTIA's plan still falls short of effectively ending smartphone theft because the measures will rely on consumers to seek out and turn on the technology.
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Beijing is trying to guide China to slower, more sustainable growth based on domestic consumption rather than trade and investment following a decade of explosive expansion.
The latest growth figures add to weaker-than-expected trade and other data that have raised the possibility of politically dangerous job losses.
Weaker growth also could hurt Asian economies and others for which China is a top market for commodities and industrial components.
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