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On May 16, Takoma resident Sara Green visited her local Safeway, on Piney Branch Road NW, and purchased a bag of Purina Friskies cat food. To her surprise, she was taxed 5.75 percent on what she thought was an untaxable item. Another Piney Branch Safeway customer, Michael Sindram, complained to the supermarket after he was taxed for Nature Made calcium supplements. Safeway administrative assistant Jacqueline Hurt responded to Sindram in a letter, saying, “The tax rate in the District of Columbia on regular groceries is 8%.” But Office of Tax and Revenue Auditor Nirmail Dhaliwal says that “regular groceries,” which include items “not intended for immediate consumption” such as vitamins and cat food, are untaxable in the District. Piney Branch Safeway Manager Michael Banks says that tax flubs at his store take place “almost never,” despite receipts from Green and Sindram that prove the contrary. “If you’re suggesting that it took place at this store—well, I really don’t think that’s likely,” he says.—Constantine Caloudas