Push to cut Kansas’ food sales tax continues with new bill

The Push To Cut Kansas Food Sales Tax Continues With A New Announcement
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TOPEKA, Kan. – There’s another push in Kansas to ditch the state’s sales tax on groceries.

Today, Governor Laura Kelly announced “Axe the Food Tax,” a plan to eliminate Kansas’ food sales tax. “Eliminating the state food tax will save the average Kansas family of four $500 per year – those savings make a huge difference,” stated Kelly on social media.

Kansas’ food sales tax rate is 6.5%, the second-highest rate in the country.

“For too long, Kansans have been paying more for groceries than people in almost every other state,” Governor Kelly says. She says financial decisions made before the pandemic will allow for the food sales tax cut while keeping the state’s budget intact.

Governor Kelly called on lawmakers to get a clean bill to her desk as quickly as possible.

Republican Derek Schmidt is the acting Attorney General for Kansas. He’s also running for Kansas governor in 2022. On November 5, he sent a letter to a few Kansas officials, proposing to repeal or reduce grocery sales tax.

In the letter, Schmidt stated, “As you know, this tax relief has been proposed for years by members of both major political parties. The most significant recent consideration was in 2019, when the Legislature approved a one-cent reduction in the sales tax on groceries, but regrettably it was met with a veto from Governor Kelly”

You can read his full letter here.

“Taxing a family’s grocery bill is one of the most widespread and unfair things a state can ask of its residents..” House Democratic Leader Tom Sawyer says in part.

Kansas lawmakers will look at the bill during next year’s legislative session.

States with Grocery Sales Tax

Kansas is one of a few states in the nation that fully taxes groceries.

According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities:

  • Arkansas, Illinois, Missouri, Tennesse, Utah and Virginia tax groceries at lower rates than other goods.
  • Hawaii, Idaho, Kansas and Oklahoma tax groceries at the regular sales tax rate.
  • Alabama, Mississippi and South Dakota apply their sales tax fully to food purchased for home consumption.