Here we go again. Someday Deal With Grocery Tax – The Kansan

Here we go again. Exactly where we’ve been many times in the past – wondering why on earth the Kansas Legislature can’t understand the importance of dealing with the sales tax imposed on groceries.

Of all the possible tax cuts that could be made, this one would have the most impact on most Kansans. (Save one. But no one has, to date, offered fuel tax cuts.)

As Kansans have seen prices rise at the grocery store, they have also seen their tax bill rise. That 6.5% might not seem like a big deal, but let’s face it. Spend $1,000 on groceries (and some families do it every two weeks) and $65 goes towards the state. That’s $65 that could buy a tank of gas (taxed, by the way) or a few extra roasts to put in the freezer. In even more personal terms, that $65 can buy diapers (taxed) or toilet paper (also taxed).

For middle-to-low income Kansans, this is exactly what will happen with “savings”. These quotes are the result of the inflation that we have all suffered from. At 7%, it’s higher than the sales tax.

It also fueled the increase in sales tax collection. This is natural, because sales tax is a percentage of the cost of a good – and that good costs more.

It doesn’t matter that, in 2022, there are only 13 states that still impose a sales tax on food. Kansas, at 6.5%, charges the second highest rate of any state.

For the record, states charging sales tax on food include Mississippi, Idaho (which offers a $100 tax credit at the end of the year), South Dakota, Oklahoma (which offers a sales tax relief credit for low-income residents), Tennessee, Hawaii, Alabama, Utah, Virginia, Missouri, Illinois, and Arkansas. Several of these states offer a reduced rate on sales tax, but still charge.

Yet this week, the Kansas Senate put forward a $22.8 billion spending plan that includes a 5% pay rise for state employees and allows no cuts in the state’s sales tax. on food.

Meanwhile, the Kansas House Tax Committee on Tuesday approved legislation that would reduce the overall statewide sales tax on general purchases to 6.3% and reduce the state sales tax on groceries at 3.5%, which would reduce annual revenue by $336 million.

To be fair, eliminating the 6.5% sales tax on food would cost about $402 million over 12 months.

But, to be fair as well, the cost of tax cuts wasn’t really discussed by party leaders in 2012 under Sam Brownback when income taxes were cut – beyond promises that tax cuts future taxes would affect the economy. Unsurprisingly, it didn’t work out too well for the state. This resulted in revenue cuts, a 2015 increase (sold as temporary) in statewide sales tax, and the repeal of Brownback’s 2017 income tax experiment.

Perhaps it was the price that spooked lawmakers in this attempt to remove the sales tax on groceries. Maybe he didn’t want to give anything to a Democratic governor the majority GOP couldn’t stand to have in power.

Whatever the reason, all Kansans will end up with the bag and foot the bill when the legislature fails – yet again – to do what is best for most Kansans.

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