Eventual elimination of the state sales tax on food will not guarantee a zero-rated grocery bill

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WICHITA, Kansas (KWCH) – In three years, you will no longer have to pay state sales tax on groceries in Kansas. It will start to disappear next year with the removal of the tax in 2025. That doesn’t mean you won’t see sales tax on your grocery bill, as many counties and cities may keep sales tax from their community.

In Kansas, the current state sales tax is 6.5%. Although this is reduced to zero by 2025, Sedgwick County has its own countywide 1% sales tax. Sedgwick County Commissioners approved this 1% tax in 1985.

“What it does is it provides property tax relief and it also provides us with funding to do road and bridge work,” the county commission chairman said. of Sedgwick, David Dennis.

When looking at groceries alone, that 1% generated more than $15 million last year. This sales tax is then divided among the towns in Sedgwick County, with Wichita getting the maximum at 57.3%.

“We could make the decision to eliminate that 1 cent Sedgwick County sales tax. This would take an act of the Board of County Commissioners. We really didn’t have it on the agenda until now,” Dennis explained.

If the Sedgwick County food sales tax were removed, Wichita would lose about $8.9 million and Sedgwick County $4.4 million.

“When you buy $100 worth of groceries, do you prefer to pay that dollar or do you prefer to see that income transferred to property taxes? Without a doubt, everyone I’ve spoken to so far is saying, ‘Oh, I don’t want more property taxes,’ said Sedgwick County Commissioner Jim Howell.

Commissioner Lacey Cruse said an eventual county sales tax ruling would be one she should reflect on.

“How does being a commissioner and occupying this seat translate into decision-making for so many people? And that’s a very heavy thing to think about, and it’s going to take me a little while to decide,” she said.

As for the state sales tax on groceries, soft drinks and candy are among the items on which the tax would be phased out over the next few years. But alcoholic beverages, tobacco and most prepared foods are excluded.

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