Do you live in Kansas? If so, you may have noticed the sales tax on your groceries during your last shopping trip. Grocery sales tax in Kansas is currently the highest in the region at 6.5 percent and second highest in the nation. Combined with city and local municipal sales taxes, some Kansas residents are paying 11.5 percent in sales taxes each time they checkout at the grocery store.
While six states in the nation charge a reduced state sales tax on groceries, thirty-two states exempt groceries from state sales tax. Five states collect no sales taxes. This type of tax often places a heavy burden on low income households and further limits access to quality food.
Food allergy and celiac families know all too well the challenge of accessing quality “free-from” foods. Foods necessary to maintain health are often made in dedicated facilities and on average cost 2-4 times the cost of conventional foods. Adding the additional tax burden reduces the buying power of families with special diets.
I currently spend $480 per month on groceries for a family of four. Each month I pay an average of $31.20 in grocery sales tax. That’s $374.40 a year that I could spend supporting a local business or organization.
The Greater Kansas City Food Policy Coalition and Food Equality Initiative are asking you to take action. Contact your state representative and let them know you care about this issue. Click here to find your local representatives by entering your address. Please be sure to share what you spend each month and groceries and how you would use the savings.