Kansas governor plans to ‘axe’ sales tax on food

Gov. Laura Kelly announced a plan to eliminate the state sales tax on food in November, a proposed $450 million tax cut. The Emporia City Commission could take a stand this week against that idea.

“Axe the tax” may be a hot phrase in Topeka. But that may not be the view of the Emporia City Commission.

With the new state legislative session one week away, commissioners will vote at their Wednesday meeting on a list of goals for 2022. It takes issue with proposals to end the state sales tax on groceries, which is favored by both Gov. Laura Kelly and likely election challenger Derek Schmidt.

One of the 13 points will “generally oppose any further exemption to the base of state and local sales taxes, including sales of food.”

Instead, the commission would recommend any changes “be accomplished by a system of income tax credits or direct rebates.”

The city’s legislative list also includes an expansion of Medicaid so medical providers can “be at least partially compensated for some medical services to economically disadvantaged citizens.”

Commissioners also will discuss completing an application for money from the Kansas Public Water Supply Loan Fund. As much as $15 million would be borrowed for replacing and improving city water lines.

Seven projects are on a proposed list for repairs. The most expensive is along Seventh Avenue from Sunnyslope to West, along with Garfield from Sixth to 12th avenues.

A water main break on Garfield in late October shut down that street for more than a week of repairs. City Public Works Director Dean Grant said at the time that once the state loan is secured, an upgrade might not begin until late this year.

Mayor Rob Gilligan will give his State of the City speech during Wednesday’s meeting. Then someone will replace him.

“A long-standing tradition of the City of Emporia has been for the outgoing Mayor to provide their comments,” a page on the agenda says.

Then commissioners will choose a successor for 2022. That honor traditionally goes to the Vice Mayor, who currently is Becky Smith.

A new Vice Mayor will be selected. This traditionally is based on results from the most recent city election. Danny Giefer received the most votes last November, when three commission seats were on the ballot.

(18) comments


The French are more American than us at this point. They riot against taxes and look at us Americans a damn tax on every corner.


Yup, it's an election year, and cutting taxes always seems to be on the agenda. As far as our own city commission, I only have one question. What exactly has the city used local food taxes for? I'd like to see a list that isn't full of silly expenditures.


It's a great idea and long overdue. It's correct that SNAP purchases are not taxed. Good thing! Helps stretch that generous monthly benefit of $20 a month my friend receives. I have some doubt that local officials would have any means to block it. If so, that is a mistake.


This does not surprise me at all. Emporia has some of the highest taxes and nothing to show for it. They keep making stupid decisions and wasting the tax money.


Poor do not pay income tax the poor pay SALES tax I was poor for years an years , I got all I paid in tax an then some back every year, Earned income credit, now that I am middle class you know from work, I pay income tax an sales tax an food tax gas tax ect ect.. there are no government programs that will lift a person out of poverty, it takes hard ass work an lots of it, I was 1 of them welfare wic folks from 17-32 or so , then I got hit with being cut off, got mad an then got a job, now I own things have money don't need welfare ect ect ,


Tax the rich, Rich folks do not care bout the price of food or the tax on it. make milk $20 a gallon men making 2 or 3 million a year don't care, tax hurts the working poor an the middle class fixin to slip down into being poor. there is work everywhere, Work for What youhave, be proud of it and not have to owe anyone,Mayor Gilligan Ain'the the 1 that used to have a John Denver haircut an play the very large guitar at th eCatholic church


What's humorous is that you believe Laura Kelly's proposal during an election year.

She's running again, right?

She ran before on the platform of aiding public schools and being a friend to Kansas teachers. But she shut the schools down. What a great gal.

This is just a campaign strategy. If she really wanted this done, why did she wait until now to "help out"?

For giggles and grins, let's say she pushes ahead on this agenda.

Is the state cutting its expenditures? If not, then who is picking up the tab? Someone has to pay for the state's expenditures. Are you volunteering to pay more? Or are you wanting to pass the bill onto the middle class again?

How about passing it onto homeowners, right? Of course anyone who rents will pay higher rent. That will affect the poor.

Pass it onto business owners, you say? Then expect higher prices at the store. It also affects how many people they hire and at what wages. That affects the poor, too.

Pass it onto the wealthy, right? Name one poor person who ever created a job that provided a living wage to someone. The poor don't create jobs, but the wealthy do. If the wealthy leave, then who are you going to tax?

How about taxing more at the gas station? Ah, the brilliance of taxing goods and people who move goods and services in and out of communities. Do you think these folks will just eat the cost of higher taxes? If it costs more to truck in your food or other essentials, then that cost will be passed onto the consumer. That affects the poor, too.

The tax will be there. It will get passed onto the poor and every other consumer. The tax will hide behind gasoline or cigarettes or property or personal wealth, but it will still be there. And it will hurt the poor.


Too bad you didn't have any of these concerns during Trumps corporate tax cuts, and too bad you're not complaining how the price of goods has only increased and nothing has "trickled down"...

But here you are now, faced with the possibility of an average person getting a tax break on their food, and you felt that deserved your silly wall of text... and you justified not helping low income save on their food bill with "it will hurt the poor." Very sad. Conservatives are in favor of low wages and high taxes, and against helping their fellow man, just like Jesus would have done.


If I had only known you were afraid of walls, especially the ones made of words, then I would have gifted you a bookmark for Christmas, Aim.


Welcome back, Anon. Happy New Year.


And to you as well, R1.


Can someone explain why the city would oppose this? Well maybe not. The city dad's and mom do so much stupid crap anyway. What's one more?


This is just another socialist program that’s trying to be started. Just kidding Aim High, you can put your eyes back in your head. I just retired from the grocery business after 44 years, And this tax that they would take off of groceries does not benefit the poor very much. The Snap (food stamps) program and the WIC program are both tax exempt anyway. So it benefits everybody That purchases groceries beer and cigarettes are excluded. It does take away those taxes from the government, so I can see how people might not before it.


That is an excellent point regarding the snap and wic programs. I would note, however, that this measure would benefit middle class families as well, ones not likely participating in such programs.

The middle class should grown rather than slowly chipped away at by taxes that are almost designed to affect that strata the most. We should create policy to mobilize people away from food stamp programs rather than implement taxes that almost incentivize them; which is to say: rather than reducing the program to deincentivize, reduce taxes to promote mobility while still retaining a social safety net.


People aren't poor because they pay a $.20 tax on a loaf of bread. More than $15 trillion has been spent on the "war on poverty" since 1964. That's the equivalent of $50,000 for every man, woman, and child in this country. Why is the poverty rate still in double digits in this country? Why are the poorest communities in this country always run by democrats? Because they believe they can tax communities out of problems through initiatives, incentives, study teams, and focus groups. All the while the middle class and wealthy get the bill and the poor never move into the middle class despite the money being thrown at the problem.

But the democrats are savvy. Every four years, the democrats come back to the poor communities and promise to help raise their standard of living. It never happens. It is the cycle. The democrats need the poor to vote for them so they make empty promises to get that vote.

The latest cruel carrot on a stick was the promise of free college tuition to young people. The gullible bought it and voted for the guy holding that carrot.




What a shame. Regressive taxes are, by and large, useless on the consumption of products like tobacco and alcohol; and having such a tax on something as basic as foodstuffs is bewildering to say the least.

Former governor of Minnesota, Jesse Ventura, had excellent positions regarding what products should incur sales taxes, stating that luxury items (sports cars, yachts, large properties, etc) are things that should be taxed. He thoroughly opposed taxes that harm the poor or the even well to do people that do not live exorbitantly.


What!? A tax cut that helps the poor? NO! This is not what the "American Dream" is about. Tax cuts should only be for the rich. The lower income population is for trickling down upon.

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