Governor Laura Kelly announces Kansas on track
to implement ‘Axe the Food Tax’

Food tax relief is coming, says Kansas Governor Laura Kelly.

TOPEKA – Governor Laura Kelly in early December announced in a press release that Kansas is on track to implement the ‘Axe the Food Tax’ legislation passed during the 2022 session. The Kansas Department of Revenue (KDOR) published its notice to initiate those changes. Governor Kelly also renewed her call for the legislature to pass a bill that immediately eliminates the state sales tax on groceries, diapers, and feminine hygiene products.

“We have ‘Axed the Food Tax’ and are putting money back in Kansans’ pockets,” Governor Laura Kelly said. “Kansans will see the savings very soon, but we can do more. When the Kansas Legislature comes back in January, I will push again for the complete and immediate elimination of the state’s sales tax on groceries.”

Kansas State Representative District 31, Louis Ruiz told Hispanic News, “The reason the total elimination of the food and other item tax is mostly political. The Republican leadership does not want to hand the Governor a win on this issue. We have over two hundred thousand Kansas citizens who would benefit from the elimination of the tax on food more than the rest of Kansas. As you see on the national trend from the US Congress, the Republicans are mostly interested in punitive legislation vs. beneficial policy making to help our most vulnerable.”

Ruiz, adds, “I am total agreement of the elimination of food sales tax. Kansas has one of the lowest minimum wage in the country so this would benefit those close or below the poverty level. Whatever we can do as legislators to help our citizens afford to live in Kansas we should definitely take those steps. The elimination of the food tax would benefit all of our constituents, especially single parent house, holds with school age and under children. The State can afford to eliminate their portion of the tax on food based on revenues we have seen brought in by other taxes and projected revenues.”

The governor signed the bipartisan House Bill 2106 to gradually eliminate the state’s sales tax on groceries. The first reduction of the tax rate will occur on January 1, 2023, changing the state sales tax rate on groceries from 6.5% to 4.0%. Current legislation will completely eliminate the state’s sales tax on groceries by 2025. Local tax rates still apply.

Leading up to the ‘Axe the Food Tax’ implementation, the Department worked with the retail grocery industry to provide educational opportunities and has formally posted its informational notice and sales tax publication that address the reduction in the state sales tax rate as well as the types of food purchases subject to the rate reduction.

“Even after providing the educational materials and opportunities as it rolls out these changes, Kansas Department of Revenue continues to be available to retailers to ensure the transition to these sales tax savings is as smooth as possible,” Revenue Secretary Mark Burghart said.

Retailers with questions about implementation can contact the Kansas Department of Revenue’s Tax Assistance Center at 785-368-8222.