10 January 2022 | Tax and Budget

RELEASE: KAC, Hundreds of Others Call for End to State Sales Tax on Food

January 10, 2022

TOPEKA, Kansas – Today, hundreds of organizations, agencies, and individuals across Kansas issued a letter to legislative leaders urging them to prioritize ending the state-level sales tax on food by Kansas Day, which is January 29. These organizations include food pantries, child care agencies, food security groups, local health departments, and many others all united by a single goal: end the state-level food sales tax in our state. 

“The high state-level food sales tax hurts Kansas families, particularly those in households who struggle financially due to low wages and the rising costs of groceries and housing,” they write. “It is estimated the elimination of the state-level food sales tax will save Kansans crucial funds that families can put towards basic necessities.” 

The letter was launched by Kansas Action for Children, whose mission is to work across the political spectrum to pass policies that will help children grow up healthy and thrive.  

As the letter states, legislation to completely end the state sales tax on food – at 6.5 percent, the savings add up – will especially help families that live on low wages and must spend a larger percentage of their paychecks on groceries than higher-income households.  

Putting this money back into the pockets of families will have a considerable impact. When families are able to make ends meet, their children experience more stability and parents are able to provide for their children and plan for the future. 

“With the state budget showing a healthy ending balance, Kansas can now afford to give back to its residents without propelling the state into another financial crisis,” John Wilson, President and CEO of Kansas Action for Children said. “But the change will only remain sustainable if the Legislature refrains from adding expensive, unnecessary items, especially those that only serve to benefit the wealthy and well-connected.” 

Wilson continues, “Lawmakers have shown us they can work quickly when they choose to prioritize a policy. One must look no further than November 2021 when the Legislature convened for a special session to address COVID-19 vaccine mandates by businesses; lawmakers passed this bill in a single day.” 

“We have seen first-hand how much bipartisan support this policy has across the state. With state budget estimates showing a significant surplus, now is the time for lawmakers to give back to all Kansas families while still being able to pay the state’s bills. Lawmakers must pass a straightforward bill by Kansas Day.” 

Read the full letter and signers here.