'That's huge': Kansas grocery tax to drop on New Year's Day
WICHITA, Kan. (KAKE) - Starting on New Year's Day, the state tax on groceries will drop two and a half percent.
Right now, the plan is for the grocery tax to disappear in 2025. Say you pay $10 in taxes on groceries. With the state tax reduced by 2.5%, you could save 25 cents for every $10.
"I paid, looks like 13 dollars."
That's what Chuck Crawford paid in taxes on his grocery bill Monday. But, come Sunday, anyone paying $13 in state tax on their bill now, will pay just eight dollars.
“Paying less on anything feels good right now because everything just seems to be going up and up and up,” said Crawford.
For him, the money goes further than saving a few cents.
“Not only do we feed the family, because we have family over tonight, but we also run a daycare. So for the daycare alone, that's going to save us hundreds,” said Crawford.
He's thinking of big savings.
“At the end of the year, you could be talking a couple hundred dollars. That doesn't seem like much, but that's huge,” said Crawford.
But there are limitations on which foods count for the new, lower tax rate.
“Food that will be excluded is any prepared food. So if you have a deli item, that would not classify as being exempt from the sales tax,” said Republican Kansas State Representative Troy Waymaster.
Both Republicans and Democrats agreed that the state's grocery sales tax needed to be eliminated, but they couldn't agree on how quickly it should get done.
“What happened was my Republican colleagues in legislative leadership did not want Laura Kelly to be able to take credit for eliminating the sales tax,” said Democratic Kansas State Representative John Carmichael.
“We did have the phased-in approach of going to 0% just to keep an eye on the state's coffers and not exactly going to 0% right away,” said Waymaster.
The state grocery Store Sales Tax reduction goes into effect on New Year's Day. It is set to fall to 0% by 2025. But Kansas Democrats are already pushing to drop that to zero as soon as lawmakers go back to work in January.