TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – If you’re seeing two lines on your grocery receipt, it’s not a mistake. Kansas shoppers are navigating changes with the new, reduced sales tax at the grocery store.

The reduced 4% state sales tax rate launched this week and only applies to certain food items. This includes basic grocery items like produce, meat and eggs. However, non-food items, prepared foods, alcohol and tobacco do not qualify for the reduction and are still taxed at the state’s 6.5% sales tax rate.

According to the Kansas Department of Revenue, prepared foods include:

  • Food sold in a heated state or heated by the seller
  • Two or more food ingredients mixed or combined by the seller for sale as a single item, such as buffet foods and food prepared in the bakery
  • Food sold with eating utensils provided by the seller

Washburn Economist Paul Byrne told Kansas Capitol Bureau that shoppers with a combination of these items in their cart should expect to see two lines on their receipt.

“The grocery stores are going to have two separate lines, instead of having one line where it shows your tax bill… the sales tax,” Byrne said in an interview Wednesday. “So, they’re going to have one line, which is the sales tax for the items that are not food, and they’re going to be paying the higher sales tax rate… and they’re going to have a separate line for all the food items, where the lower tax rate is going to apply.”

On Monday, some Walmart shoppers expressed concerns that they were being taxed twice by the retail giant.

According to Walmart, there were some customers who were mistakenly charged the higher, outdated rate, along with the new rate, after the reduced sales tax went into effect on Sunday, Jan. 1. However, a spokeswoman for the corporation said that all stores were updated as of Monday morning, Jan. 2.”

On Jan. 1, after the reduced state sales tax rate on food items went into effect in Kansas, some customers were mistakenly charged the higher, outdated rate, along with the new rate. The issue has been resolved, and we apologize for any inconvenience.

Customers seeking a refund or with questions should bring their receipt to their local Walmart store and speak to a member of management.

We can confirm all stores were updated by the morning of January 2.

Ashley Nolan, Walmart Corporate Communications

City/County sales taxes:

Local sales taxes on food still apply to the new, reduced sales tax rate.

That means customers will see the city and county sales taxes added to each of the tax percentages that appear on their receipts.

For example, one line on a receipt will show the normal combined sales tax rate for items that do not qualify for the reduction.

In Sedgwick County, the normal combined sales tax rate is 7.5%. This includes the normal state sales tax of 6.5% and the Sedgwick County sales tax of 1%.

Another line of the receipt will show the reduced combined sales tax rate, which is applied to items that do qualify for the reduction.

In Sedgwick County, that comes to 5%. This includes the new, reduced state sales tax of 4% and the Sedgwick County sales tax of 1%.