Kansas lawmakers considered, but did not pass tax-free holiday bill

Published: Jul. 24, 2019 at 6:58 AM CDT
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Oklahoma and Missouri have tax-free holidays, offering consumers the chance to shop for back-to-school items without paying sales tax.

District 94 State Representative Leo Delperdang says lawmakers considered a tax-free holiday this session, but it didn't pass because law makers felt other tax bills were more necessary to push through.

He hopes lawmakers will take another look at it again next year. The Kansas sales tax rate is about 6.5%, so a tax-free holiday could save families $10-$30 in August, and he doesn't expect the loss in tax revenue would hurt the state.

"I do think it would help Kansas businesses simply because I have talked to several people who who to other states and do the tax-free holiday, whether it be Oklahoma or Missouri, etc.," Delperdang says, "Your population along those borders, it's so easy for them to jump across the border and take advantage of it."

People in Kansas say they like the idea of a tax-free holiday, however, they think the sales tax is reasonable.

Donna Braggs lives in Manhattan and says shopping for school supplies and clothes every August can be a burden. She says she wouldn't want a tax holiday if it meant Kansas would have to make cuts elsewhere.

"For me, I would like to see the numbers in the immediate and a trend later," Bragg says. "If it's a benefit now and a loss later, is it worth it? That's what I would like to see."

Delperdang says he doesn't think one weekend would hurt Kansas' tax revenue significantly.