Senate Republicans favor gradual elimination of food tax

Kansas GOP lawmakers want to take a year-by-year approach to scale down the food sales tax. Democrats favor a plan by Gov. Laura Kelly to eliminate the sale tax entirely.

By

State News

April 28, 2022 - 3:24 PM

Sen. Tom Holland says a bill gradually eliminating the state sales tax on food is a start — but not enough. He argued the Legislature ought to eliminate the food sales tax immediately. Photo by (Sherman Smith/Kansas Reflector)

TOPEKA — A Kansas bill providing a multiyear, staggered elimination of the state sales tax on food moved a step closer Wednesday to becoming law.

Kansas’ current sales tax on food is 6.5%, among the highest in the nation, and for years has been among top reform issues for Gov. Laura Kelly, legislators and advocates. But despite the bipartisan support for the change, Republican leadership in the Kansas House and Senate did not entertain a debate during the regular session.

On Wednesday, Senators for the first time debated the issue on the floor, approving a compromise between both chambers without opposition. The plan would take a year-by-year approach to scale down the food sales tax, dropping from 6.5% to 4% on Jan. 1, 2023, then 2% the following year and eliminating the tax altogether in 2025.

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