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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Grocery store bakeries in Missouri must continue to pay tax on the utilities they use to warm their food.

The state Supreme Court on Tuesday rejected a request for a sales tax refund on the electricity and natural gas used by the bakeries at 40 Schnucks grocery stores.

The refund request cited a state law that exempts energy used in "processing" products from sales taxes.

But the Supreme Court ruled that "processing" does not include a bakery's in-store preparation of cooked foods for retail sale. The ruling upholds an earlier decision made by the state's Administrative Hearing Commission.

Court documents show that the amount of taxes specifically at issue was slightly more than $100,000. But the case could have had broader implications for grocery store bakeries.

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