Archive for Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Kansas House votes to end sales tax on food

March 13, 2012


— Kansas would no longer charge sales tax on groceries under an amendment approved by the House.

The 76-44 vote Tuesday came as the chamber debated a plan that would reduce income tax rates for individuals and some classes of businesses.

Rep. Jana Goodman, a Leavenworth Republican, offered the amendment on groceries, arguing that all Kansas residents deserved to have more money in their pockets. Ending the sales tax on groceries would cost the state an estimated $350 million annually.

Goodman says Kansas is struggling in a recession and the best way to start a recovery is by cutting taxes.

The amendment was one of several considered by the House as it debated the income tax measure.


Scut Farkus 5 years ago

Let's build up the state coffers for awhile before we start to give it away. In any event the money has to come from somewhere so I'm guessing education and social services will take a hit.

Matthew Herbert 5 years ago

My guess would be property taxes take a hike!

tbaker 5 years ago

"Give it away." Interesting choice of words. How would you feel about describing this tax cut by saying the government is letting the people who work and earn the money in the first place keep more of what is theirs to begin with? You assume the money is better off in the hands of a government official than it is in the hands of the person that earned it. Taxing food for home consumption is a sickening use of the state's power. 31 states exempt groceries from sales tax. This is long overdue. Bravo Kansas House!

JustNoticed 5 years ago

Oh for heaven's sake. Both of you take a chill pill. You both are making unfounded assumptions about what the other said.

Liberty275 5 years ago

Everyone understands that taxes are a necessity. The issue is how much more should the government be given and for what purpose.

JayhawkFan1985 5 years ago

Or in this case, how much less revenue does KS need to graduate to 3rd world status. Let's not forget that Iran, Iraq, north Korea, Afganistan, Mexico, and every country in sub saharan Africa are low tax places.

...don't drink the water. prepared to bribe the official to get a...


tbaker 5 years ago

Do you assume the more money the state spends on education, the better it will be? Would you like to see studies that compare academic achivement over time to dollars-per-student spending over the same time?

jafs 5 years ago

Everyone doesn't really understand that.

Some call taxation theft and consider it morally reprehensible.

tbaker 5 years ago

Strawman fail. Paying taxes for constitutional government uses are correct and necessary.

jafs 5 years ago

And yet, we have at least one poster on here who claims all taxation is "theft".

I agree that our constitution provides for a variety of taxation, and government spending, and that's perfectly fine with me.

Where one draws the line between the correct amounts and uses of taxation is of course much less clear, and depends on a number of interpretations.

April Fleming 5 years ago

seconding that. $350 million is a lot to make up.

Hooligan_016 5 years ago

At this rate, why even have the Kansas Legislature anymore?

JackMcKee 5 years ago

I like the sales tax on food elimination. It's much more equitable than the income tax cut. Add in a property tax reduction and I think you've got a real winner.

jayhawklawrence 5 years ago

Is this simply a bait and switch ploy?

They may just be looking to develop a moral argument to grant a big tax cut to businesses.

The checkbook won't balance.

Bruce Bertsch 5 years ago

Remedial Econ...Lowering taxes won't start a recovery. If it did, we wouldn't have had the last recession.

optimist 5 years ago

Where are you learning Economics?! Another Kool-Aid drinker spewing the talking points of from the left-wing. This Government in the first year of the present administration borrowed from itself and China more than $2 trillion and spent it on nonsense with the misguided belief that they could recreate the post depression expansion. They conveniently leave out the fact that these government programs throughout the 1930's did little to improve things and not until WWII and the aftermath did the economy turn around. Consider that toward the end of the Clinton administration we had suffered a recession resulting primarily from the tech bubble bursting and made worse by the attacks of 9/11. Immediately the Congress approved tax cuts for all Americans. This resulted in mitigating the recession and ultimately economic expansion and higher revenues to the US Treasury. Yes, I said higher revenues. Where the Bush administration failed was in reducing spending. The administration continued to allow the Congress to grow domestic non-war spending to protect the war budget. I question the necessity of this compromise and give Bush no breaks on this issue. At the end of the Bush administration the "housing crisis" began. This wasn't actually a housing crisis as much as it was a banking crisis. Lenders made bad loans, sold bad loans fraudulently and did so I believe while the government turned a blind eye. The government persuaded financial institutions to make many of these loans through threat of prosecution because standard lending practices were disproportionately effecting certain minority borrows or geographic regions. Consequently financial institutions deviated from the common practice of ensuring ones credit worthiness and began lending to people that had no business borrowing. They even created a variety of methods of manipulating the system such as interest only and 80/20 loans to name a few. The current recession had little to do with taxation or even spending but irresponsibility by government, banks and yes borrowers. Since the last recession the government has spent record dollars "investing in America" to no avail. We have had many a recession over the decades and it seems to me the ones that last the longest are those that were attempted to be solved via Keynesian economic practices (i.e. the Roosevelt, Carter and Obama administrations) while periods that saw recessions end more quickly applied free market practices, lower taxes and less regulation (i.e. Reagan, GW Bush). Recessions are the result of the natural ebb-and-flow of things. It’s when government gets involved that it drags on and is worsened.

optimist 5 years ago

This is a good plan. Many other states made this change years ago. The tax on food affects those with lower incomes more than anyone else. This is the simplest and most logical way to help the poor, by allowing them to keep more of what they earn. This is far better than the government to confiscating money from tax payers and then redistributing it. This is a fine example of the free market approach. Further reductions in spending will have to occur to pay for it. I applaud the move.

jafs 5 years ago

What spending will you cut?

Tristan Moody 5 years ago

umm.... you "might" want to put "down" the "bong" there...

Richard Payton 5 years ago

Everything purchased at the grocery store included such as liquor and smokes on this tax amendment?

Eddie Muñoz 5 years ago

Where in Kansas can you buy liquor at the grocery store?

Richard Payton 5 years ago

Try under the tab great meals beer and wine is offered after entering your birthday.

Greg Cooper 5 years ago

Reqading comprehension: find the small print that says "where available". That would not be Kansas for wine and spirits. Nice try.

Eddie Muñoz 5 years ago

I thought we were in a budget crisis... it doesn't make sense to me to give up $350 million of revenue. But I'm no economic scholar, so I could be wrong.

Clark Coan 5 years ago

The nearly 9% tax on food hurts the very poor the most. It is very regressive. Cities and counties depend on the sales tax now, so the amendment won't survive.

Matthew Herbert 5 years ago

I have no statistics to disprove their numbers but doesn't $1,000,000 per DAY in sales tax just at grocery stores in Kansas seem a little high? That's hard for me to imagine

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years ago

That would mean app. $11 million in sales per day, divided between app 3 million people is about $4 per person spent on groceries per day, or $120 per month. Probably not so far off.

Matthew Herbert 5 years ago

NEVER get 2/3? It's already at 63%....they are only 4 votes out of 120 away from having a 2/3 override right now.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years ago

Now, if they'd just make this up with an increase in income tax on incomes over $100,000, we'd be headed towards a fair system of taxation.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years ago

It would have no effect on the incentive to work hard. Even a strongly progressive tax on income still means that the wealthy are still wealthy even after paying their taxes. It's just idiotic to think that those who are in a position to be wealthy would chose to be poor simply to throw a tantrum about having to pay a little extra for the privilege of enjoying all that society has to offer (which poor people can't do, no matter what the tax rate is.)

jafs 5 years ago


But $100,000 seems a bit low to start that to me.

Even this administration is proposing $200-$250,000, isn't it?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years ago

There are lots of ways to choose the various brackets. I'd say having brackets at $40K, $60K, $100K, $200K and $500K would make sense, but that's somewhat arbitrary. The important thing is to get over the propaganda that a "flat tax" is a fair tax. The only truly fair tax is a strongly progressive one.

jafs 5 years ago

There are no clear and objective "fair tax" systems to my mind.

Arguments can be made for and against all of them, including yours.

The underlying problem is the lack of concrete justification for any taxes, other than that the government needs money.

jafs 5 years ago

For example, why is it "fair" to charge somebody making $100K/yr a higher percentage than somebody making $60K/yr.?

"Because they can afford it" isn't an argument about fairness, it's just a practical comment.

tolawdjk 5 years ago


When will "recession" have jumped the shark? What is the basis of the definition used? Anymore it seems like the word has entered the realm of other loosely defined words..."love", "sex", "is", "pornoraphy", "art", "religion".

Haiku_Cuckoo 5 years ago

Nutritious food should be tax-free (anything purchased in the produce, dairy or meat departments). Junk food should be taxed sky high though. People shouldn't get a tax break for stuffing their faces with Little Debbie snack cakes and soda pop.

deec 5 years ago

Factory farmed meat is not particularly healthy. Americans eat too much of it, and it is full of antibiotics and hormones. At the meat factories it is exposed to cross-contamination from bacteria. Rice, dry beans, whole grains, canned and frozen fruits and vegetables are not kept in the produce, dairy or meat departments. Pudding cups and lunchables are.

Armored_One 5 years ago

Uhmm, Deec, you haven't been to Dillion's in a few years, have you? Pudding cups are in the baking area, usually near the dried fruit.

Richard Heckler 5 years ago

"Goodman says Kansas is struggling in a recession and the best way to start a recovery is by cutting taxes."

Does Goodman know anything about taxes? It's becoming apparent that many elected officials understand little about taxation for they never tell anyone what services will disappear. Perhaps elected officials have no clue.

Brownback is not the economic giant of our time.

All of you cut as many taxes as possible thinkers get your wallets out NOW! You are about to be exposed to HIGHER LOCAL TAXES AND INCREASED FEES AND INCREASED WATER AND SEWER RATES as a result of all the state level tax cuts. Public swimming will cost more.

You name it .... it will cost more!

Richard Heckler 5 years ago

Public Education will cost more.........

Making locals increase taxes to pay the bills allows the idiots in Topeka to say "we do not believe in increasing taxes" = one big fat lie.

Bill Lee 5 years ago

If the sales tax is removed from food, which I belive it should be, it will never be reinstated. This means we need to find another revenue source, so expect property taxes to increase.

Armored_One 5 years ago

Property taxes? More likely a new tobacco tax. Granted, once it get taxed out of existance, we WILL be up that proverbial creek.

Richard Heckler 5 years ago

How will reducing state taxes provide anyone with more money after local taxes,fees,rates etc etc etc are increased?

jafs 5 years ago

What spending in the amounts of about $350 million/yr. will you cut?

Shane Garrett 5 years ago

Great plan. Elimination of the tax on food, is a start.

Ron Holzwarth 5 years ago

Eliminating the sales tax on food is a very good idea and should become the law in Kansas as it already is in many other states. Of course, deli food, fast food, and restaurant food would be exempt, as it is in California. In California, only food that is to be prepared at home is exempt from sales tax.

For many people, the small amount of money that they do have must be stretched just to pay for needed medications, the rent on what most would consider to be a hovel, and whatever is left is spent on food.

People with very little income are not required to pay any income tax, so why should they be required to pay a tax on what is a basic necessity of life? There are plenty of very wealthy people that could very easily afford to make up for any shortfall in the state tax revenues in other ways. Perhaps there could be a new tax placed on the purchase of a new Rolls Royce, Mercedes Benz, Cadillac, BMW, Ferrari, or other similar car.

Only the very poor are going to derive any real benefit from the elimination of the sales tax on food. How we treat the very poor among us who can do nothing about their situation makes a very clear statement about ourselves.

pace 5 years ago

I have always thought sales tax on food was a good one to stop. But does this mean I think Brownbacks trick will end up with the poor paying less and the rich more. NO. My bet is this amendment won't fly, but the relief of taxes for the rich will. Koch graft.

jafs 5 years ago

It's funny that this proposal is meeting with such opposition from liberals, who have argued for some time that sales taxes, especially on food, are regressive and hurt the poor.

If I didn't know better, I'd think it's just partisan opposition, without serious thought :-)

jafs 5 years ago

Actually, I have no idea.

If it's tacked onto a bill eliminating much of the income taxes...

But my point remains, why would liberals criticize this proposal, when they're proposed exactly the same sort of thing in the past?

Richard Heckler 5 years ago

A Smart ALEC Threatens Public Education

Coordinated efforts to introduce model legislation aimed at defunding and dismantling public schools is the signature work of this conservative organization.

By Julie Underwood and Julie F. Mead, Phi Delta Kappan Article Tools

A legislative contagion seemed to sweep across the Midwest during the early months of 2011. First, Wisconsin legislators wanted to strip public employees of the right to bargain. Then, Indiana legislators got into the act. Then, it was Ohio. In each case, Republican governors and Republican-controlled state legislatures had introduced substantially similar bills that sought sweeping changes to each state’s collective bargaining statutes and various school funding provisions.

What was going on? How could elected officials in multiple states suddenly introduce essentially the same legislation?

The answer: The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). Its self-described legislative approach to education reads:

Across the country for the past two decades, education reform efforts have popped up in legislatures at different times in different places. As a result, teachers’ unions have been playing something akin to “whack-a-mole”—you know the game—striking down as many education reform efforts as possible. Many times, the unions successfully “whack” the “mole,” i.e., the reform legislation. Sometimes, however, they miss. If all the moles pop up at once, there is no way the person with the mallet can get them all. Introduce comprehensive reform packages. (Ladner, LeFevre, & Lips, 2010, p. 108)

ALEC’s own “whack-a-mole” strategy also reveals the group’s ultimate goal. Every gardener who has ever had to deal with a mole knows that the animals undermine and ultimately destroy a garden. ALEC’s positions on various education issues make it clear that the organization seeks to undermine public education by systematically defunding and ultimately destroying public education as we know it.

What is ALEC?

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