Kansas Senator Tom Holland has filed a constitutional amendment that would phase out the state’s sales tax on food, resulting in a complete elimination by the year 2019.
Currently, Kansas charges it’s full sales tax rate of 6.5 on groceries. Additional city and county taxes can mean shoppers in some areas are taxed as much as 10 percent. The amendment would reduce the state tax to 4 percent beginning in July 2017, then to 2 percent in 2018 and to zero by July 2019.
“Kansas’ sky-high state sales tax rate is not only making it tough for Kansans to put food on the table for their families, it’s also hurting our border businesses and communities. SCR 1612 gives Kansans a tool to responsibly and permanently fix this problem,” says Senator Holland.
“KC Healthy Kids is encouraged by Senator Holland’s filing of the amendment and also by the existing bill in the house (HB 2444). We are looking forward to the legislature continuing the conversation about eliminating sales tax on food in Kansas,” says Ashley Jones-Wisner, state policy manager for KC Healthy Kids
Colorado and Nebraska exempt all food sales from taxation, and Missouri’s state food sales taxes are only 1.225%. Oklahoma, like Kansas, does not exempt food sales taxes, but has a lower state sales tax of 4.5%.
Since 2014, KC Healthy Kids has been working with policy makers to eliminate the harmful tax on groceries¬. The nonprofit commissioned the Kansas Public Finance Center at Wichita State University to study how the tax impacts Kansans. Their reports show it puts an unfair burden on low-income families, hurts rural grocers and their employees, and drives shoppers across state lines to buy food.