Bill to ban grocery tax stalls

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - An effort to remove Alabama's 4 percent state sales tax on groceries has stalled in the Alabama Legislature and appears to be several votes short in both the House and the Senate.

The bill supported by Democrats would offset the revenue loss by removing a tax deduction on federal income taxes paid from some higher income taxpayers.

Republicans oppose that plan and call it a "Robin Hood" approach to tax reform.

The Democratic plan has beem approved by a House committee, but House leaders have said they do not have the 63 votes - or two thirds of the membership - needed to pass a constitutional amendment.

A Republican plan that would take the tax off groceries gradually without replacing the revenue is stalled in the Senate.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)