OLATHE — Gov. Laura Kelly took a trip to a Hy-Vee store to sign a bipartisan bill Wednesday phasing out over three years the state’s 6.5% sales tax on groceries, but would prefer the Legislature reconsider her proposal to promptly wipe out the state tax on groceries.
The Republican-led Legislature is sitting on a large budget surplus, but has been wary of wholesale deletion of the state’s tax on food July 1 because it would be viewed as a political victory for the Democratic governor and the lost state revenue could haunt lawmakers if the economy fell into recession. The governor has campaigned to “Axe the Food Tax,” which would be popular among consumers grappling with the highest inflation rate in decades.
Instead, the House and Senate overwhelmingly approved a bill that would culminate with repeal of the state’s food sales tax in 2025. The reform wouldn’t alter local sales tax on grocery purchases.