Archive for Friday, July 9, 2010

Sales tax exceeds liquor tax in Lawrence after statewide increase

Sales tax on groceries is 8.85%, but on booze it’s only 8%

Cashier Noah Wallace rings up the purchase of William Brown, of Lawrence, on Friday at Myers Retail Liquor, 902 W. 23rd St.

Cashier Noah Wallace rings up the purchase of William Brown, of Lawrence, on Friday at Myers Retail Liquor, 902 W. 23rd St.

July 9, 2010

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It now pays to be thirsty instead of hungry in many Kansas cities.

Walk into your favorite Lawrence grocery store and fill your cart with food to feed your family. After the July 1 increase in the state’s sales tax, you’ll now pay 8.85 percent in sales tax on your supermarket purchase.

Now, go to your favorite Lawrence liquor store and fill your cart with liquor to feed your wild hair. At the checkout counter, you’ll pay an 8 percent tax.

Foregone revenue

Lawrence may be the liquor capital of the state of Kansas, but booming business at local liquor stores does nothing to help the coffers of city and county governments.

The state keeps the 8 percent liquor enforcement tax that liquor stores charge. For a county like Douglas that enjoys a cocktail or two, the financial implications are significant.

Based on liquor enforcement tax collections numbers in fiscal year 2009, about $3.45 million worth of liquor was sold each month in liquor stores in Douglas County. If city and county government were allowed to impose their current local sales taxes on those purchases, they would have generated about $1 million for the year.

In case you are confused, Lawrence does benefit from some liquor sales. A traditional sales tax is charged on cereal malt beverage beer sold at grocery and convenience stores. A 10 percent drink tax also is charged on drinks sold at bars and restaurants. Local governments get about 70 percent of those tax collections.

Finally, a tax shelter the common guy can understand.

Reader poll
As of July 1, Kansas' sales tax on food is higher than the state tax charged at liquor stores. Should the liquor tax be increased to match or exceed the sales tax?

or See the results without voting

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Some state leaders, though, are scratching their heads about how this could have happened.

“This is clearly an awkward situation we’ve put ourselves in,” said Sen. Marci Francisco, D-Lawrence.

Advocates for the poor are dismayed but not necessarily surprised.

“I don’t think it really reflects the values of our state,” said April Holman, policy director for Kansas Action for Children. “But this is what happens when your tax system is a hodgepodge of whatever is the most politically expedient.”

How liquor tax works

Raising taxes on liquor has proven not to be politically expedient in Kansas.

Lawrence resident Diane McFarland browses the wine selection at Myers Retail Liquor, 902 W. 23rd Street, Friday, June 9, 2010.

Lawrence resident Diane McFarland browses the wine selection at Myers Retail Liquor, 902 W. 23rd Street, Friday, June 9, 2010.

For those who don’t look at their liquor store receipts, here’s how the state’s liquor tax works: Liquor stores don’t charge any local or state sales taxes. Instead liquor stores charge a special type of tax called a liquor enforcement tax. It is a flat 8 percent at every liquor store in the state.

When state legislators this year added an extra 1 cent per dollar onto the state’s sales tax rate, they did not increase the liquor enforcement tax. That’s nothing new. The liquor enforcement tax hasn’t been increased since 1983. During that same time period, there have been five increases in the state sales tax.

But this time, the increase pushed the sales tax total higher than the 8 percent liquor tax in a host of communities.

According to an analysis done by the Journal-World, every city of 25,000 people or more — except Wichita — now has a sales tax higher than the liquor tax.

Overall, 221 out of the 627 incorporated cities now have a total sales tax — the 6.3 percent state sales tax plus the local sales taxes — higher than the liquor tax. Sometimes it is quite a bit higher. Sixteen cities — including Tonganoxie and De Soto — have a general sales tax of more than 9 percent.

“This shows that we do need to take a look at our tax structure and make sure it reflects our values,” said Holman, whose organization has argued the state shouldn’t charge a sales tax on food. “I don’t think most Kansans want to see food taxed at a higher rate than liquor.

“I think this probably does send a bad message.”

A leader in the Kansas liquor lobby disagrees. Phil Bradley, executive director of the Kansas Licensed Beverage Association, said the real issue is that state government is increasing the amount of taxes you pay.

“I don’t think it sends any message other than the state wants more of your money and has found a way to do it,” Bradley said.

On the fairness issue, Bradley is not convinced there either.

“If you want to make sure everything is taxed the same, you will have some tremendous difficulties,” Bradley said. “There isn’t a tax on services. There are a lot of services that aren’t necessities, and they aren’t taxed. I don’t hear people crying foul about that.”

Evaluating sales tax

Maybe not yet. But some legislators — even from vastly different sides of the aisle — say more analysis needs to be done on the equity of the state’s tax system.

“It is always helpful to look back at what we’ve done,” Francisco said. “This situation certainly warrants discussion.”

The issue of charging a sales tax on food and grocery items may be part of it. Kansas is one of only seven states that levies a full sales tax on food. Rep. Anthony Brown, R-Eudora and one of the House’s more conservative members, said he wants to eliminate the sales tax on food.

“I think it is horrible that we tax food in Kansas,” Brown said. “It is ridiculous. This situation we have right now is a bad deal all the way around.”

But eliminating the sales tax on food would cost the state hundreds of millions of dollars. How the state would deal with that budget gap likely would be contentious.

The League of Kansas Municipalities, which represents cities, has argued that the state could afford to eliminate the food sales tax and create a more equitable tax system, if multiple sales tax exemptions were eliminated.

“There are literally billions of dollars off the sales tax rolls,” said Kimberly Winn, director of policy development for the league. “That is the bigger, broader policy issue for us.”

Eliminating exemptions likely won’t gain favor with many conservatives, Brown included.

“I think we need to lower both taxes,” Brown said of the liquor tax and the sales tax. “The problem is not that everything else needs to go up. The problem is we’re expecting too much out of government.”

Francisco said she believes there is a different problem. She noted that the legislature frequently waits until the end of the session to tackle weighty issues and then many members refuse to have a full discussion.

The process sometimes results in unexpected oddities.

“I think clearly there isn’t any reason people should be paying less for a tax on liquor than they do on food,” Francisco said. “That’s easy to understand.

“But when there is so much pressure on not raising taxes, we don’t have a good discussion about the tax mix. That’s what happened here. We need to continually look at this issue of whether our taxes are balanced, but this pressure to not say anything at all about taxes makes it very difficult.”

Comments

fan4kufootball 5 years ago

It amazes me that Kansas with a state sales tax and income tax has a sales tax rate that is as high or higher than states that have no income tax..... Texas for example has a state sales tax rate of 6.25% and no income tax.

Jimo 5 years ago

You're forgetting local sales taxes, which in most places in Texas pushes the rate to 8.25%. Texas also imposes a variety of other taxes to make up for its income tax allergy. All in all, the Tax Foundation ranks Kansas at #24 among the states for taxes and Texas ... #21. Bottom Line: government costs money.

Besides, Texas is great tax-wise if you're well off. To be poor and live in Texas ... hmmm...God is sending you a message (and it's not one of love).

boltzmann 5 years ago

Actually, you also have to include property taxes as well. I found an interesting site that gives the total state/local tax burden for different states as a percentage of average income (for that state):

http://www.retirementliving.com/tax_burden_2008.pdf

Not sure how accurate it is. One thing that is interesting KS and OK have a higher state/local tax burden (as a percentage of income) than perceived high tax states like Massachusetts (9.6% for KS, 9.5% for MA). Taxes are higher in MA per capita, but average incomes are also higher.

weeslicket 5 years ago

great link. thanks. even though this is dated 2008, it provides data that i hadn't looked at before.

--on average, you would expect the state local tax burden rank to be roughly equal to the income per capita rank. connecticut, iowa, kansas, maryland, michigan, montana, new jersey, new york and oregon fit this descriptions. --states which have a larger number for sltb rank (larger number = lower ranking; smaller number = higher ranking) compared to their ipc rank (and this is a better ratio for those states) include: alaska, colorado, florida, illinois, louisiana, massachusetts, nevada, new hampshire, north dakota, south dakota, tennessee, texas, washington and wyoming. --states which have a lesser sltb rank compared to their ipc rank (and this is a worse ratio for those states) include: arkansas, georgia, indiana, kentucky, maine , north carolina, ohio, oklahoma, vermont and wisconsin.

have fun with all of that.

lctchr1 5 years ago

Would you want to live in TX?

fan4kufootball 5 years ago

Not really but just trying to figure out how states with no income tax are still able to function (maybe not well but neither does KS at this point) when their sales tax rates are not any higher than ours.

funkdog1 5 years ago

Texas still pumps a fair amount of oil which helps to pay for lots of things there. Unfortunately, not every state has natural resources to draw on.

Jeff Cuttell 5 years ago

They have higher populations. So there are a lot more dollars from taxes even at a lower %

average 5 years ago

As Boltzmann mentions above, Texas property tax mill rates are decidedly above Kansas (on average).

riverdrifter 5 years ago

She probably got lost while looking for the Night Train in quarts.

Richard Heckler 5 years ago

Pennsylvania I believe has no sales tax on clothing and groceries. They do well.

brianjay1 5 years ago

NE does not tax food but they have a BALANCED BUDGET AMENDMENT... imagine that!!

bankboy119 5 years ago

Pennsylvania is not doing well at all! Especially the roads. They had bridges closed "indefinitely" due to lack of funding just a couple years ago. I had family and friends there discussing the different routes they had to take to work and school because of the budget issues. Stop spouting off like normal.

David Reynolds 5 years ago

The problem Kansas faces is the same as Lawrence...there is not enough industry to support our needs. The state used to rely on revenues from gas & oil in the southwest part of the state. That revenue has not supported us for years.

Kansas has failed in its efforts to build an industrial or services based economy.

Lawrence has no excuse. The Progressives in this city have driven away any businesses that might have been interested.

One thing is for sure...the old excuse, against development, that the land around Lawrence is the "most productive in the world" is shown to be a farce. Agricultural land pays little in taxes. The progressives hate for development such as new homes has proven to work against the financial interests of Lawrence as well. I'll bet this community would love to have the sales & property tax revenues generated by new construction.

Additionally neither the state and especially City of Lawrence, ever heard about living within its means. Lawrence's expenses have risen in excess of revenues for years. One example of waste is the "T" transit system funded by a new 10 year tax and we are still running with either empty or mostly empty buses. We could have handled our mass transit systems more economically.

funkdog1 5 years ago

So should we be throwing up manufacturing and importing all of our food from other countries? There needs to be a balance between saving good agricultural land and building on non-productive land.

akuna 5 years ago

While the short term influx of revenue from construction is desirable, the low-density construction that modern city planning advocates leaves the tax payers in the long-term lurch. In both the short and long-terms, tax payers have to pay for the infrastructure to support new developments. Essentially, developers are handed a free bag of roads, sewers, water, electrical lines to support their developments.

We need better development code to allow denser, multi-use developments and pronto. A few good mixed-use developments have been brought to the planning commission in the last decade or so. But the hoops that smart developments have to jump through are too numerous and cumbersome.

Hoots 5 years ago

Actually, I thought it was 2%. The city looked at the whole posting signs thing.

Hoots 5 years ago

Actually, I thought it was 2%. The city looked at the whole posting signs thing.

akuna 5 years ago

I heard that sales tax was 9.85% in some areas of the city. Is this true? If so, where?

alm77 5 years ago

At the north east corner of 6th and Wakarusa (smashburger, CVS, whatever else) because they are adding a 1% tax to hand over to the developers for whatever reason...upkeep or something, I don't know.

puddleglum 5 years ago

yo, it is an additional 3% and it does not go to upkeep, it goes to developers' bank accounts. That's why I will never spend one dime at CVS, smashburger, taco bell, compton car-wash or whatever else ends up out there.

boltzmann 5 years ago

Actually, the sales tax addition at wakarusa and 6th goes to the city to pay for extra infrastructure in that area. It call a TTD i beileve -Transportation tax district -and is of a different type than the CID tax district proposed for 23rd Street, which does go directly to the businesses themselves. this is an important distinction that people should be aware of.

independant1 5 years ago

8% since 1983?

Thank gawd they left that one alone.

independant1 5 years ago

8% since 1983?

Thank gawd they left that one alone.

Navan 5 years ago

Not really they just raised the gallon tax on all products sold in liquor stores. So while the consumer didn't see a tax hike on their receipt they did notice they had to pay more for that bottle. So don't worry you pay the tax one way or another.

independant1 5 years ago

good on ya! it's better and more fair than a flat tax

aa469285 5 years ago

I absolutely agree. I'm more than happy to pay high sales tax if the compromise is no income tax. As a high-income earner (aka "rich" as most you like to say), I'm happy to pay more in sales tax because it's my choice to purchase something or not. However, items that are necessities in our society should not be subject to a sales tax. Items like food and basic utilities (water, electric and gas- not cable). Sales taxes on necessities are the most regressive forms of taxation- everyone has to buy food. It always amazes me that a town that considers itself "progressive" can continue to raise sales taxes on food items. This hurts the lowest income earners (and fixed income earners) the most.

Jimo 5 years ago

Every tax falls unevenly on people differently situated. There is no one perfect tax, which is why there's a wide variety of taxes.

The only real argument is the right ratio. I agree, I would emphasize consumption taxes much more starting with replacing ALL payroll taxes - which burden both employer and employee and discourage employment - with a nationwide value-added tax, the most efficient and least burdensome type of consumption tax ever devised.

(I use the VAT as a topic to test "Tea Party" types to see if they really are small-gov't, balanced budget types or whether they're just blowing smoke. So far, about 1 in 100 passes.)

gccs14r 5 years ago

The poor end up paying tax on 100% of their income, whereas the wealthy end up paying tax on only a fraction of theirs. Instead, all income from all sources should be taxed equally, with the first $30k being tax-free. That gives the working poor a chance to gain some fiscal traction, while trust-fund kids would finally have to pay more than a pittance in taxes for doing absolutely nothing.

jafs 5 years ago

I've suggested that idea as well - it seems very reasonable to me.

And it would greatly simplify tax collection as well.

thefisherman 5 years ago

You apparently have never filed a federal tax return.

A family of four that owns a home and has two children under 18 will have a minimum of $27,000 in tax free income, consisting of:

$12,400 Standard deduction (including the "bonus" 1k you get for mortgage interest even if you don't itemize deductions) $14,600 worth of income exemptions ($3,650 x 4 - 1 for each person claimed on the return)

You also get to take up to a $2000 child tax credit (that's a dollar for dollar reduction in what you owe uncle Sam). Not to mention dependent care expense credits if the kids are under 13.

A single parent of two will still have 19,300 in untaxed income, even if he/she doesn't own their home. Again, not to mention the $2,000 child tax credit or dependent care expense credits.

Do some research before spouting off about "poor people pay taxes on 100% of their income."

gccs14r 5 years ago

Pilgrim suggested using a sales tax to supplant income and other taxes. I argued that the poor would then be taxed on 100% of their income, because they by necessity must spend all of their income just to survive.

Learn to read for comprehension and understand the argument before jumping into a discussion. You'll look less uninformed and reactionary that way.

jafs 5 years ago

Except that poor and low-income folks spend a much larger percentage of their income than rich ones do.

It would be interesting to see some sort of analysis that takes all of the factors that you mention into account.

We'd certainly not have the deductions you mention, but also wouldn't have the income tax either.

It's hard to figure out what a really fair tax system would be like.

jafs 5 years ago

I like the idea of getting rid of the IRS, or at least streamlining it.

Since rich folks figure out ways to lower their tax liability when it's based on income, don't you think they'd figure out similar ways if we simply use sales tax?

For one thing, they could stop buying as much - it's easy for them to do since they have much more disposable income.

Then, in order to maintain a certain level of revenue, we'd have to increase the sales tax percentage, which hits and hurts those at the lower end, who spend most of their income on necessities.

It's really not that simple.

Mr_B9 5 years ago

“This is clearly an awkward situation we’ve put ourselves in,” said Sen. Marci Francisco, D-Lawrence.

Ya really think so.........Try thinking it through first instead of guessing your way through it. Maybe it is so easy even a caveman can do it. hmmmm.

Here are a few ideas to chew on.

1) Eliminate state income tax (Why? Encourages spending) 2) Create a state lottery that generates more winners and more ticket sales by capping the winnings. (Spread the wealth, why? So it encourages spending) 3) Increase tourism and fill the hotels. (Why? So outsiders are encouraged to spend money) 4) Decrease the tax on small business so we can stay in business and afford to keep our employees. (Why? So we all can afford to be encouraged to spend our money) 5) (This is the biggie!) Create a statewide consumption tax (Why? Because this is where the encouraged dollars spent comes to play)

Notes: 1) Eliminate the waste in government on all levels. (If local business has to cut back to make ends meet so shall the government. Lead by example and cut back your own benefits,wages, personnel, etc. and live meek like the rest of us. What are you doing for the tax payers besides growing socially and raising our taxes?)

2) City of Lawrence quit spending our tax dollars so you can play developer and quit paying developers our tax dollars. Everything that was great about Lawrence is slipping away as you lead our community into another burb development. Maybe you could borrow Marci's line.

Jimo 5 years ago

"Create a state lottery that generates more winners and more ticket sales by capping the winnings."

Totally agree. Why have a $200M jackpot when you could have 200 $1M jackpots?

(Besides, winning $200M probably would ruin most people's lives.)

slang4d 5 years ago

While I agree with most of your points, this one is questionable:

3) Increase tourism and fill the hotels. (Why? So outsiders are encouraged to spend money)

Most Kansas transplants can attest to the fact that even our closest relatives don't want to visit here. The one relative that did visit me here? My father. I couldn't figure out what the heck to do with him. I took him to Milton's for breakfast and Liberty Hall for a movie, but he didn't find much interesting until we went to Kansas City, MO. His tourism dollars were mostly spent in a different state! We're landlocked so there aren't any beaches or sunny weather in winter, we're without other natural treasures like mountains or sprawling national parks (Colorado, Yellowstone in Wyoming), and our urban areas aren't culturally relevant and historically interesting like New York City, Boston, D.C., Philadelphia, etc.

While I don't particularly want to see a Branson-style city in Kansas, that kind of destination would be our only hope for tourism. And increasing tourism isn't possible without wealthy investors and buy-in from local governments and citizens.

InspectorJo 5 years ago

hell, with milk $3.99 a gallon and now the tax increase, it would be cheaper to pour beer over my fruit loops or frosted flakes. Not sure if the kids will like it, but hell, got to cut back some where.

boltzmann 5 years ago

You must buy really cheap beer.

situveux1 5 years ago

No love for Marci on this one. If waiting to the last minute is such a problem then she should have a conversation with her House Democrat friends who delayed debate on a tax increase at least 3 times this session. I'm sure it is very akward for her since she participated in voting in this mess when she could have said no.

newmedia 5 years ago

Truth, Justice, and the American way !! Tax until it hurts and then tax some more !! Does it hurt yet? Has anyone in Topeka ever heard of Chris Christie? Probably not...

kernal 5 years ago

B9, I'm noit sure what KS has to offer to draw tourism, unless people want to watch Fred Phelps crew march their toddlers around Topeka with their hate signs. Bet that group is really helping Topeka lose any possible new business. The Flint Hills aren't a big enough draw when you consider what so many other states have to offer.

slang4d 5 years ago

Good lord, abolish the food sales tax and raise cigarette and liquor taxes. The latter two are unnecessary, food is a necessity for EVERY citizen.

red6102003 5 years ago

What they fail to also let you know is if you a bar owner you are double taxed on liquor. Yea you pay the 8% when you purchase the liquor but then you also have to pay 10% liquor tax of the sale of the liquor.

fan4kufootball 5 years ago

Red - remember bar owners collect that 10% from you customers - its not out of the owners pocket.

jafs 5 years ago

We're all double taxed (at least) - first we receive after-tax income, then when it's spent, we pay sales taxes.

bliddel 5 years ago

Taxes were the reason for the last revolution! Sales taxes are the most repressive form of taxation, especially when food itself is taxed. I didn't vote for the out-of-touch politicians that voted to raise taxes in a depression. My politicians don't often read my mail, and only reply when we agree. So what else can I do? What else can the rest of us do? Purchase as little as possible, and whenever possible, purchase out-of-state. If we all boycott all Kansas businesses, the legislature will see that tax revenue did not go up, and that their irresponsible actions deepened the depression. They won't care, and they'll blame BP and the Fed for it, then vote to renovate the capitol building again, and go on vacation. Maybe then we'll be angry enough to take effective action.

Hoots 5 years ago

You are correct. It's proven that the more people are taxed the less they spend. Research has shown there is a curve where you can only get so much in taxation from people.

gccs14r 5 years ago

I think you're referring to Laffer. In theory it is correct that government revenue will fall in an environment of excessive taxation, but in practice it has not been proven that the United States has ever been in that situation, despite claims to the contrary by anti-tax zealots.

aa469285 5 years ago

Wow, anti-tax zealots? So that means there are tax zealots? Given those two choices, I'll go with anti-tax zealot. In fact, I think I'll make t-shirts.

gccs14r 5 years ago

No, there are anti-tax zealots and normal people who realize we have to pay for services. Being normal doesn't sell t-shirts, though.

boltzmann 5 years ago

If i remember my american history correctly, it was taxation without representation that was the problem, not taxes themselves. Last time I looked we did have representation, so your argument doesn't hold.

Deliberatly trying to sabotage the ks economy is a bit like defecating in your own bed because you are mad at the landlord.

jafs 5 years ago

Well, it's debatable how much actual representation we have.

No politician I've ever seen advocates for most of what I'd like to see happen and, if they do while campaigning, it changes once elected.

boltzmann 5 years ago

"No politician I've ever seen advocates for most of what I'd like to see happen"

Representation doesn't necessarily mean that your views are the one's that win out.

"and, if they do while campaigning, it changes once elected"

But is that was a real problem, then you could vote against them in the next election. That is also representation.

This doesn't mean that I don't think that there are problems with the campaign finance system, but that is a secondary problem. The problem is that people don't inform themselves. We get the government that we deserve.

jafs 5 years ago

That may be part of the problem, but a system that requires the amount of money ours does in order to campaign means that anyone capable of getting elected is beholden to their contributors.

And the massive influence of corporations (which will get worse with the recent SC ruling) distorts the system.

In theory, we should have a government "of, by and for the people", but given our current system, that's extremely unlikely to happen.

Hoots 5 years ago

I just don't get the logic behind this. Saying one tax is higher than another means we have to raise taxes on something else. That kind of tit-for-tat will make us all poor very quicky. Didn't realize taxing was a competion.

Hoots 5 years ago

Did any of you see what they did in Illinois? The Governor gave his staff a 20% raise and the remainder of state workers a 7% raise while at the same time they are running a $13 billion deficit. The bureaucrats really don't get it. To say the least taxpayers there aren't very happy.

thefisherman 5 years ago

Everybody always forgets that Kansas gives a food sales tax refund to poor people...

Your Kansas qualifying income must be $31,900 or less, and you must meet one of the following:

Be 55 years of age or older, OR Be blind or disabled, OR Have a dependent child under 18 who lived with you all year whom you claim as a personal exemption

It is a standardized amount that might not cover the entire amount, but it would get most of it for people who meet the income requirements.

Source: http://www.ksrevenue.org/faqs-taxfoodsales.htm

lionheart72661 5 years ago

AMAZING!!!! Ever since they started raising taxes on cigarettes I have said they need to tax liquor! NO, I do not smoke and am not trying to change directions on the way this story is going but one thing is for certain....They need to start taxing alcohol and let the drinkers start helping pay for the deficit. Why are the smokers the only ones paying" Oh sure tax groceries that hits us all I know. So stop taxing the wrong things with stupid excuses like"well if we raise the price high enough it will curb underage smoking"!!! Use that on alcohol. Underage drinking is more harmful and deadly than underage smoking. When was the last time you saw a DWS (driving while smoking) arrest? Need I say more?

lionheart72661 5 years ago

AMAZING!!!! Ever since they started raising taxes on cigarettes I have said they need to tax liquor! NO, I do not smoke and am not trying to change directions on the way this story is going but one thing is for certain....They need to start taxing alcohol and let the drinkers start helping pay for the deficit. Why are the smokers the only ones paying" Oh sure tax groceries that hits us all I know. So stop taxing the wrong things with stupid excuses like"well if we raise the price high enough it will curb underage smoking"!!! Use that on alcohol. Underage drinking is more harmful and deadly than underage smoking. When was the last time you saw a DWS (driving while smoking) arrest? Need I say more?

lionheart72661 5 years ago

AMAZING!!!! Ever since they started raising taxes on cigarettes I have said they need to tax liquor! NO, I do not smoke and am not trying to change directions on the way this story is going but one thing is for certain....They need to start taxing alcohol and let the drinkers start helping pay for the deficit. Why are the smokers the only ones paying" Oh sure tax groceries that hits us all I know. So stop taxing the wrong things with stupid excuses like"well if we raise the price high enough it will curb underage smoking"!!! Use that on alcohol. Underage drinking is more harmful and deadly than underage smoking. When was the last time you saw a DWS (driving while smoking) arrest? Need I say more?

Liberty275 5 years ago

I knew there was a reason I should have bought that $225 litre of Glenlivet last night. We could have saved .85% if we had bought the nectar of the (imaginary) gods instead of a months worth of food.

down_the_river 5 years ago

The article says: Lawrence may be the liquor capital of the state of Kansas,

Well, how about it may not. How about Lawrence is number 5 in Kansas, as far as liquor sales. If you hope to make a point, it's wise to get your facts lined up.

Once you consider all the permit fees and excise taxes on both a Federal and State level before the 8 percent enforcement tax enters the picture, the tax collection on alcohol beverages well exceeds any food item with a single sales tax.

Hoots 5 years ago

Could that be per-capita? Good point...we pay taxes, taxes, and then more taxes on some things before we pay taxes. Has anyone ever looked at their cel bill. It has tax after tax after fee on it. How many times can you tax the same dollar?

Chad Lawhorn 5 years ago

Here's a couple of past stories I did on the subject. Make of it what you will. I don't think the statement is unreasonable. Chad Lawhorn Journal-World

ralphralph 5 years ago

I'll drink to that! Or ... I would, if I wasn't so hungry.

ralphralph 5 years ago

Smashburger = TaxBurger

Beware! Extra "Secret" sales tax on every purchase!

TaxBurger! TaxBurger! TaxBurger!

Shame on you!

Hoots 5 years ago

SmashBurger is'nt as good as Freddy's or my fav Culver's at double the price. Actually, they aren't as good as either one. Culver's has by far the best menu. I can eat something pretty good at a Mom and Pop downtown for what SmashBurger charges. CRAZY!!! I'd rather have Truffle Fries with that, a good beer, and some atmosphere for that kind of money. Got a SmashBurger and it was raw on the inside. Not cool for ground beef. Just another boring chain at twice the price.

Hoots 5 years ago

Are you serious? Republican or Democrat it's all the same animal. Why do you think they both turn such a cold shoulder to the Independent candidate in every election, debate, primary, etc.? They both take the same money and forget where they came from. I love how people love to fool themselves. You can't even vote in a primary in most states as an Independent and this includes Kansas.

I will agree. Taxing food is such a regressive tax. It hurts the people who have the least. In Kansas you can get it back but you have to be poor and at least 55. Give me a break. How many people actually will go to the trouble? Actually, Casinos are the biggest regressive tax of all. You should see the data on who spends the most gambling. Rich people know it's a losers bet. 15 to 1 odds don't get you very far. Oh, and the state exempts its own Casino from the smoking ban...how convenient? You do the math for what demographic is most likely to smoke and which demographic is most likely to throw all they have away in a state owned casino. It's SO sick when you think about it.

Alexander Neighbors 5 years ago

Does anyone know where all this money is going and why the local Gov't keeps asking for more ?

independant1 5 years ago

People want just taxes more than they want lower taxes. They want to know that every man is paying his proportionate share according to his wealth. (Will Rogers)

Tony Kisner 5 years ago

“This is clearly an awkward situation we’ve put ourselves in,” said Sen. Marci Francisco, D-Lawrence.

It is always akward when your failure is in bright lights.

The State has developed a great business plan where it creates a problem it is then needed to solve.

ralphralph 5 years ago

Tax-Burger. Ripping off the customer ... what a marketing strategy!

banksie 5 years ago

You don't know what you are talking about.

http://lawrenceks.org/sales_tax

Special Tax Districts

Special taxing districts are used in other nearby cities as well as throughout the State. Some nearby retail destinations with special sales taxes include Village West in Kansas City, Kansas, and Oak Park Mall in Overland Park. The Department of Revenue maintains an up-to-date list of all special taxing districts in Kansas at http://www.ksrevenue.org/salesratechanges.htm.

In Lawrence, there are two areas where an additional sales tax is charged. There is currently a 1-cent Transportation Development District (TDD) sales tax in the following locations:

Oread Hotel....

Bauer Farms: this project is located at the northeast corner of the intersection of 6th and Wakarusa Streets. Approved by the City Commission in October of 2008, Bauer Farms provides a variety of retail stores for residents of western Lawrence. The TDD sales tax will be in place for 22 years and will help pay for up to $6.8 million in public improvements including new sidewalks, streets, sewer and water infrastructure, and lighting for the district.

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