Economic Justice

Kansas Committee Has Voted to Lower Taxes on Groceries in 2020

While writing for 50 States of Blue, I posted a piece about the Kansas sales tax on groceries. Here is an update on that piece via a recent press release:

Senate Bill 444 passed unanimously out of the Kansas Senate Assessment and Taxation Committee last night. The bill would lower the state’s 6.5% sales tax rate on food to 4% in 2020 and down to 2% in 2021.

KC Healthy Kids’ Ashley Jones-Wisner has worked with statewide partners and legislators over the last several years to draft and pass legislation that would lower the state sales tax rate on food.

“It’s a huge success. The measure committee members approved will benefit the Kansas economy while putting dollars back into the pockets of Kansas families who need it most,” Jones Wisner said.

“Legislators from both sides of the aisle have been continually coming together in support of lowering the state sales tax rate on food, and last night their work paid off,” she added.

Senate Assessment and Taxation Chairwoman Senator Caryn Tyson showed great leadership on this issue and ensured the bill was passed favorably out of her committee.

In reports published by KC Healthy Kids, Wichita State University researchers said the tax hurts low-income families and rural grocery stores and drives shoppers across state lines to buy groceries.

KC Healthy Kids rallies the people in our communities to improve access to affordable fresh food and safe places to walk and play. When our neighborhoods support healthy habits, we are less likely to suffer from obesity, which is linked to Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and poor mental health. To make a lasting impact, we shape policies that improve our food system and physical surroundings, and, ultimately, the places where we live, work, learn, and play.

This is great news, and progress. I’m still surprised that there was a sales tax on groceries at all in the first place.


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