‘Sweet Grown Alabama Act’ Expands Opportunities for Alabama Farmers
June 9, 2022
On April 11, Alabama Governor Kay Ivey signed the ‘Sweet Grown Alabama Act,’ which includes farmer-produced value-added products in existing agricultural sales tax exemptions. Value-added products, such as jams/jellies, whole cuts of meat, flower bouquets, pickles, pecan candies and more, are currently subject to sales tax under Alabama law. With the passage of the Sweet Grown Alabama Act, farmers who grow and produce value-added products will no longer be required to charge sales tax on these items beginning October 1, 2022. The bill is set to sunset, or expire, in five years on September 20, 2027 but could be reauthorized in future legislative sessions.
“Selling jams and jellies with locally grown fruits is the backbone of my business,” said Melissa Palmer of Palmer Farm in Wetumpka. “The Sweet Grown Alabama Act is a huge help to my farm because it will allow me to sell more products without charging my customers sales tax.”
Alabama farmers who grow strawberries currently can sell those strawberries without remitting sales tax, but if they make those strawberries into a jam, they are then required to collect and remit sales tax. The Sweet Grown Alabama Act opens the door for farmers to explore new marketing options for their products and provides consumers more access to locally grown products. To qualify, products must be grown, processed and sold by the farmer, immediate family members, or employees who help cultivate the products.
“Many of our favorite Sweet Grown Alabama products are only in season for a short period of time each year,” said Sweet Grown Alabama Director Ellie Watson. “Creating value-added products that are often shelf-stable allows us to enjoy some of our favorite products in a new format year-round. It also allows our farmers to turn products that may otherwise go to waste like imperfect berries into a new source of revenue for the farm. Eliminating the sales tax requirement on these items reduces burdens on Alabama farmers and will strengthen our already powerful agricultural economic impact.”
Sweet Grown Alabama would like to thank Ivey, the Alabama Farmers Federation for their work on this bill, Sen. Steve Livingston for sponsoring this bill in the Senate, Rep. Van Smith for sponsoring this bill in the House of Representatives and the entire state legislature for supporting Alabama farmers with the passage of the Sweet Grown Alabama Act.