CLAY, Ala. (WIAT) — Over the past year, inflation has hit Americans hard. As of September, the price of groceries rose 13% in the past year, according to government data.

That’s why officials with the City of Clay decided they wanted to step in to help citizens afford essential items. Starting Tuesday, the tax on groceries in the city will decrease by 2 cents for every dollar.

“It’s a way where we can help the citizens of Clay during this time where everyone is struggling, every penny counts,” Mayor Charles Webster told CBS 42.

The mayor explained the city tax was 4%, and the City Council voted to cut it in half for food items. The overall tax, which includes county and state taxes, decreased from 10% to 8%.

“Our budget is doing great we’re on the up trend of getting money in the bank so we can afford to do it,” said Mayor Webster.

Clay is one of the first cities in Alabama to make a move like this.

The mayor explained the new lower tax will apply to food at the city’s two grocery stores, Publix and Piggly Wiggly, and both of the Dollar Generals.

The tax reduction will remain in effect for two years. The mayor said the city would reevaluate the decision in 2024.