Iowans who like chomping a stick of gum will soon face a new tax — so will those who buy seeds to plant carrots, pumpkins and all sorts of other vegetables. Sales tax laws are changing Thursday, the first of July and the first day of the new fiscal year. Renee Mulvey, spokeswoman for the Iowa Department of Revenue, says many grocery store items will be subject to new sales taxes, but some others will -NO- longer be taxed. Bottled water has always been subject to sales tax but will not be after July first, but not all beverages are created, or rather taxed, equally. Various soft drinks, fruit drinks and fruit juices will be falling under the new laws, which Mulvey says had always been subject to what was known as the “15-percent rule.” If the soft drink or juice had 15-percent fruit or vegetable juice in it, it was tax exempt. That’s going up to 50-percent. If the beverage has 50-percent of less juice, it’ll be taxable — more than 50-percent, it’s exempt. There’s no longer going to be an exemption on chewing gum though — it’ll be subject to sales tax starting Thursday. Mulvey says other items that’ll be taxed include: vegetable seeds, potted plants and fruit trees. Farmers who sell the produce from the items will be exempt from the sales tax. While home gardeners will have to start paying a sales tax on those items, farmers and other people who sell produce will still be able to buy seeds, trees and plants tax-exempt.
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