Food is exempt from the State portion of sales tax (4.75%) but local sales taxes (Articles 39, 40 and 42) do apply to food to make up a 2% sales tax on food. The Article 43 (half-cent Transit Tax) and Article 46 (quarter-cent county sales tax) do not apply to food.
“Non-qualifying food” includes prepared foods and beverages in restaurants, dietary supplements, food sold through vending machines, bakery items sold with eating utensils, soft drinks and candy.
The 4.75% general sales rate tax plus local taxes, including the transit and Article 46 sales tax, are charged on purchases of "non-qualifying food."
The reduced 2% local tax rate is charged on “qualifying food,” which includes groceries and bakery items sold without eating utensils.