Change Kansas’ Grocery Tax

KC Healthy Kids is leading the charge to reduce the burden of food sales taxes in Kansas. At 6.5%, the tax is second highest in the nation.

An average family of four spends about $1100 on groceries each month. In many places, Kansans pay up to 10% in state and local taxes, which adds up to $100 every month, $1200 a year. Kansas is one of the only states that taxes food at the same rate as luxury items. It’s time to make a change.

The Governor’s Council on Tax Reform recommended a food sales tax refund targeted towards low and moderate-income taxpayers in their interim report published in January 2020. We’ll continue to provide updates as they become available.


How it Hurts Kansans


4 Steps to Speaking Out

1. Post on social media. Tag your legislator and add a photo of your groceries or receipt showing the amount of tax you were charged. Here’s a sample social media post:

I care about lowering the sales tax on groceries in Kansas. I’d rather support local businesses in our community. #ksleg please lower the sales tax on food this session.

2. Find your legislator’s contact information. Search Here

3. Email your legislator. Email Template

4. Call your legislator. Phone Template


Why it Matters

Kansas needs to eliminate the state sales tax on groceries to improve health and the economy for thousands of Kansans.

  • Kansas spent $1.3 billion on obesity related expenditures in 2009. – Obesity (Silver Spring)
    Kansas’ health ranking has significantly declined from the 8th to the 27th healthiest state in the nation. – 2014 America’s Health Rankings
  • Research has found that higher fruit and vegetable prices lead to increased obesity – Economics and Human Biology
  • An estimated 21% of children under age 19 are living below the federal poverty level. – Kids Count, Kansas Action for Children

Whitepaper Series: Hard Facts on the Food Tax

In addition to making healthy food more affordable for Kansans, cutting the food tax could help smaller and rural grocery businesses in the state by encouraging customers to shop in Kansas rather than in neighboring states with lower food taxes (1.225% in Missouri, 0% in Colorado and Nebraska, and 4.5% in Oklahoma). Want to know more? KC Healthy Kids has commissioned the Kansas Public Finance Center at Wichita State University to publish a series of reports examining these three ways sales tax on food impacts Kansans.

  1. The incidence of the inclusion of food at home preparation in the sales tax base: Kansas food tax puts an unfair burden on the poor and those in rural areas.
  2. The effect of the inclusion of groceries in the sales tax base on rural grocery stores: Kansas food tax takes a toll on rural grocery stores, their employees and local economies. Eliminating sales tax on groceries could boost economic activity and improve nutrition for Kansans.
  3. Sales tax rate differentials and cross-border shopping: With lower or no taxes on food in neighboring states, what is the impact on retailers’ businesses?
  4. NEW! Economic effects of the reduction of the food sales tax: Exempting groceries from the retail sales tax base and increasing income taxes would create a nearly neutral result in terms of gross economic effects.