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Tax Those Virginia Peanuts


 Subject to Excise Taxes in Virginia.

Virginia peanuts have been beloved by many for centuries. The Peanut Growers Cooperative Marketing Association of Virginia and the Carolinas notes that the first peanuts were brought to the North America by West African slaves in the 1700s. "The first commercial peanut crop in Virginia was grown in Sussex County… in the early to mid 1840s."

In addition to being a tasty treat, peanuts are important to the state's economy. "Virginia peanuts are important for the state's economic development," says Delegate Rick Morris (R-Carrollton). And the excise taxes on peanuts are an important source of revenue for Virginia peanut growers, enabling growers "to be able to help market their product so we can grow more -- and, more importantly, sell more Virginia peanuts." (Hamptonroads.com).

The current state excise tax rate of 30 cents per 100 pounds was set to revert back to the previous rate of 15 cents per 100 pounds on July 1 of this year. Recently, lawmakers in both the Senate and House of Delegates agreed to extend the 30 cents per 100 pounds excise tax through July 1, 2016. HB 1320 and S 698 have both been enrolled.

An excise tax is a sales tax that applies to a particular product. It is usually applied per unit, rather than as a percentage, and is most commonly found on alcohol and tobacco products. It's less common to see excise taxes on peanuts, and the fact that Virginia has one indicates how important peanuts are to the state economy.

While consumer's don't see excise tax as a separate line item on a receipt, the taxes do typically trickle down to the consumer.

Full disclosure: I like to eat Virginia peanuts, especially the ones that are covered in chocolate.

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Gail Cole
Avalara Author
Gail Cole
Gail Cole
Avalara Author Gail Cole
Gail began researching and writing about sales tax in 2012 and has been fascinated with it ever since. She has a penchant for uncovering unusual tax facts, and endeavors to make complex sales tax laws more digestible for both experts and laypeople.