Bill phasing out food sales tax in Kansas headed for governor’s desk

View down the aisle of a grocery store in Kansas.
View down the aisle of a grocery store in Kansas.(KWCH)
Published: Apr. 28, 2022 at 10:53 PM CDT
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - A measure to phase out the state’s sales tax on food is on the way to Kansas Governor Laura Kelly’s desk. This comes after the Kansas House late Thursday night overwhelmingly voted in support of the bill that would cut the state’s sales tax on food from its current mark of 6.5 %, the second highest in the country.

The House vote, 114-3 passage, follows the Senate’s action Wednesday, unanimously voting in favor of the plan that gradually reduces the state’s food sales tax, dropping it to zero in January of 2025. If Kelly signs the bill into law, it will lower Kansas’ sales tax on food to 4 percent next January and down to 2 percent in January of 2024 before being eliminated the following year.

Late Thursday night, Kelly said she will sign the food tax bill.

“Make no mistake -- today’s action is a win for every single Kansan,” Kelly said in a Thursday night news release. “Eliminating the state tax on food will provide financial relief to everyone, and this bill is a good first step. However, prices continue to rise for essential necessities like groceriesWe must provide financial relief swiftly – and I call on the Legislature to move the implementation date up to July 1, 2022. We owe it to Kansans to get this done and get it done immediately.”

Kansans pay the second highest state sales tax on groceries at 6.5% driving some families along our border communities to other states for savings. Signing this bill means local grocers and other businesses will begin to see increased revenues by keeping Kansas dollars in Kansas.

Wednesday’s Senate vote came after the House rejected a separate plan that would have completely cut the food sales tax at once. Several Democrats in the Kansas House on Thursday supported the bill heading for the governor’s desk, but expressed frustration that the initial bill to eliminate the sales tax starting in July wasn’t passed this legislative session.

One lawmaker compared what lawmakers passed to what many had hoped for, saying they bunted when they could have hit a home run.

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