Revised Law Requires Farmers Market Vendors To Charge Sales Tax

A simple Saturday morning visit to the Farmers Market is usually full of fresh produce and a quick exchange of cash, but a revision to a State sales tax law says vendors should be charging customers the State's 3-percent grocery tax.

The change to the law came in December, but many vendors say they have always assumed they should account for the tax.

"We've always claimed what we make at farmer's markets and craft shows on our taxes. We claim that as income," said Cheryl Culp.

In the revised law it now states that anyone selling produce off their farm property is considered an established business and are not exempt from collecting the taxes.

However in the past the law was not as specific.

"It was unclear. People didn't understand. It was kind of gray. The new law they put into effect in December was more clear about that you do have to claim what you make at farmers markets," said Culp.

While December's sales tax change may not affect those who have been growing and selling for a number of years, it could take away some of the shady gray area for those just getting into the idea of the farmer's market.

"There are some people that are just not sure one way or the other, so know you know. You do have to pay taxes on what you make at farmers markets," said Culp.

Many vendors say they plan to simply account for the tax at the end of the year, as opposed to having to take it out at the time of the sell.

They say it's less confusing and simply easier to do business.

Anyone selling off of thier farm is now required by the State to have a permit and submit sales taxes to the State of Arkansas.