After many attempts, Gov. Kelly predicts Kansas food tax will end next year


LEAVENWORTH, Kan. (KSNW) — Gov. Laura Kelly is pushing to eliminate Kansas’s state sales tax on food.

The proposed change would help shoppers at a time when grocery costs are on the rise. Kansas has the second-highest sales tax on groceries in the nation at 6.5%.

The governor joined Susie Werth and her daughter Wednesday as they shopped for groceries. The Lansing, Kansas, mother spent nearly $160 on food for her family. That included nearly $14 in sales taxes.

Without the state sales tax on groceries, Werth would pay only about $4 in local taxes for this shopping trip.

“I’m really excited about this proposal,” Werth said. “I think it will help a lot of Kansas families. I think it’s something other states benefit from currently, and I would like to see Kansas residents get the same benefit as people in different states.”

Kelly estimates a family of four would save about $500 a year by getting rid of the state tax on food.

“I think there are a lot of folks on both sides of the aisle who have wanted to at least reduce, if not eliminate, the sales tax on food,” Kansas’ Democratic governor said. “But we have really never had the revenues to allow us to do that in a sustainable manner. We do now.”

Many who live along the state line have known they can save hundreds of dollars a year by doing their shopping in Missouri, where the state tax is more than five times lower than what they’d pay in Kansas for the same food.

Kelly said new businesses and new investments make it possible to drop the food sales tax, which currently brings in about $450 million a year in revenue to the Sunflower State. She said the measure has bipartisan support.

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