Proposal would use Lawrence sales tax on food to help poor

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City leaders are looking at the possibility of indirectly returning some of the money impoverished Lawrence residents are charged in sales tax on groceries.

Mayor Stuart Boley proposed the program to city commissioners asking for a portion of the amount charged to low-income families to be spent on a program to fight hunger.

Lawrence residents pay more than 9 percent sales tax on purchases that include groceries. Douglas County data show about 17 percent of people living in the county are "food insecure," meaning they have limited or uncertain access to adequate food.

A 2016 report from the Tax Foundation says Kansas is one of only 13 states in the country charging any sales tax on groceries.

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