Two hundred managers and executives from grocery stores around the state were at the statehouse Wednesday, asking legislators to change the state’s bottle deposit law. Grocers have been appealing for an end to the law’s requirement that grocery stores accept empty beverage cans and bottles and pay back the five-cent deposit. Doug Bradford manages a Fareway store in Nevada. “We want a better option to the bottle bill,” Bradford says. “There’s many different choices that can be made to keep our ditches clean short of sending everything back to our store.” Jeff Boorill (BOR-uhl) works at Fareway’s home office in Boone and he says they have other concerns, too. He says grocers aren’t pleased with the proposal Governor Vilsack seeks that would place all over-the-counter cold medicines that contain pseudoephedrine behind a pharmacists’ counter in an effort to limit purchases made by meth-makers. “We don’t want to be totally out of the cold and allergy business for our customers that need it every day,” Boorill says. In addition, the grocers say the legislature should not raise the cigarette tax because it will hurt stores along Iowa’s borders as customers who’re smokers will to a neighboring state to buy cheaper cigarettes. Darren Oppman manages a Fareway in Waverly. “I think we’re taxed enough as consumers…taxes is not the answer to me,” Oppman says. He suggests there’s “no end in sight” if lawmakers start raising taxes on things that aren’t good for you — or in his words — “things the public deems as not kosher.”
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