New report shows Kansas food tax puts unfair burden on the poor and those in rural areas



Lowering the costs of fresh food could make healthy choices easier and reduce obesity across the State

Kansas City, KS — A report released today by KC Healthy Kids shows that Kansas’ current grocery tax of 6.15% puts an unfair burden on low-income families.

The study, conducted by the Kansas Public Finance Center at Wichita State University Hugo Wall School of Public Affairs, found that food taxes are highly regressive, affecting low-income families more than those at higher income levels.

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According to the report, a household in the lowest income group pays anywhere from 2.7% to 8.4% more of their income in taxes on groceries than does a household at the highest income level. That tax burden is even more pronounced in rural areas.

Kansas is one of only fourteen states that includes food for at home preparation (groceries) in the state sales tax base and one of only seven that taxes them at the full retail sales tax rate (Tax Foundation, 2012).

The Kansas Legislature is considering legislation that would lower the sales tax on groceries. The measures would not lower the tax on candy, soda and other snack items. KC Healthy Kids supports the legislation because it would make healthy food more affordable for everyone in Kansas.


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