HARTFORD - State Reps. Brenda Kupchick (R-132) and Laura Devlin (R-134), who represent Fairfield, along with Senate and House Republican colleagues announced newly released details on a grocery store tax included in the Democrat state budget set to go into effect Oct. 1, which could potentially encompass all cooked food.

The budget approved by the governor and majority party included a 7.35% tax that will be applied to a long list of food items that have never been taxed when sold in grocery stores before, according to the state Department of Revenue Services policy statement issued last week.

The tax will apply to not only prepared meals such as sandwiches, deli salads, pizza and hot buffet items, but also small packages of snacks, loose baked goods, bags of salad, small servings of ice cream, and meal replacement bars. It also applies to fountain drinks including coffee and any beverage sold with a taxable “meal.”

In February, Kupchick and Devlin said, Gov. Lamont assured Connecticut residents that the grocery tax proposal was dead. In fact, Gov. Lamont says it was ‘never alive.’

Earlier this year, Democrat lawmakers labeled the new tax as only a 1% tax increase on items already taxed at 6.35%, but the DRS statement clarifies that the new 7.35% tax will also apply to many food items that have never been taxed at all before when sold in grocery stores.

“Whether it’s typical middle class working families that rely on prepared foods for dinner, before or after their kids nightly activities or senior citizens who also rely on the ease of convenient meals, this is simply an another unfair added burden for the residents of Fairfield,” said Kupchick.

“This new grocery tax will hit families hard. Families are already stretched financially and now we are going to penalize them if they need to pick up a prepared meal or even grab-and-go food at the supermarket,” said Devlin. “This is an outrageous money grab.”

The DRS document explains that items sold at restaurants and eateries currently taxed at 6.35% will see a 1% tax increase. It also clarifies that the total 7.35% tax rate will also be effective in grocery stores, “which previously taxed meals in a different manner than other eating establishments.”