MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WIAT) — While Alabama’s grocery tax helps fund the state’s education budget, it makes it harder for some families to put food on the table. That’s especially true now with consumer prices having jumped 7% last year — the largest increase since 1981.

“As groceries keep on getting more expensive, there’s never been a time more than now that we probably need to think about this,” Alabama Policy Institute Director of Policy Analysis Parker Snider said.

Snider says past efforts to eliminate the tax have been met with resistance because that money helps pay for schools. The API supports Rep. Mike Holmes’s (R- Wetumpka) bill to cut the tax without making up for the roughly $500 million it generates.

Holmes says Alabama is financially in a good position to make the move.

“We’re very prosperous I guess. We’re growing, and we’ve paid off a bunch of debt and we’ve got lots of money to spend and I say why not give the people a break,” Holmes said.

Sen. Andrew Jones’s plan would cut the tax and compensate for the lost revenue by capping the amount of federal income taxes that can be deducted from state filings.

“If you are making about $70,000 as an individual, $140,000 as a married couple, you will still get to take your full deduction of your federal income tax payment, and everyone will get no state grocery tax,” Jones said.

Alabama Arise, a nonprofit that advocates for those in poverty, supports Jones’s bill.

“We’ve done polling that we’re going to release tomorrow. It shows the majority of Alabamians would be willing to raise income taxes if it meant we could reduce our tax on food,” Alabama Arise Executive Director Robyn Hyden said.

Hyden says that 4% tax equates to roughly two weeks worth of groceries for a family.

“We’re taking that food from hungry families. That could be around $500 for some families. They deserve to have that money to use it to feed their kids,” Hyden said.

Even if these bills pass, they wouldn’t eliminate grocery taxes entirely. Counties and localities can still impose their own taxes.