Legislators to discuss Gov.’s tax plan as entirety introduced in both chambers

FILE(WIBW/Phil Anderson)
Published: Jan. 23, 2023 at 7:57 AM CST
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - The entirety of Governor Kelly’s Axing Your Taxes plan has been introduced in the Statehouse and legislators will now take the 3-part plan up for discussion.

Kansas Governor Laura Kelly announced on Friday, Jan. 20, that the entirety of her 3-part ‘Axing Your Taxes’ plan has been introduced in both the state’s House and Senate.

“Kansans need relief from rising grocery prices, the cost of school supplies, and the social security income tax cliff retirees currently experience,” Gov. Kelly said. “Because of the work we’ve done to balance our budget, fully fund schools, and attract business to the state, we can provide responsible tax cuts for Kansas families. Now that these bills are introduced, let’s work together to get them passed.”

Kelly noted that her package would save Kansans more than $500 million over the next three years.

“Under Governor Kelly’s leadership, legislators from both sides of the aisle came together to reduce the food sales tax – and we can do it again this session, once and for all,” Senate Minority Leader Dinah Sykes said. “We also have the opportunity to truly help Kansans at every life stage by reducing costs on essentials like diapers and feminine hygiene products, making school supplies more affordable for families, and easing taxes on Social Security for our seniors. We have the means to make a living, raising a family, and retiring in Kansas more affordable while protecting our future economic security, and I’m proud to have introduced legislation that will provide this relief for Kansans.”

The Governor said Senate Bill 57 and House Bill 2111 would eliminate the state sales tax on groceries, diapers and feminine hygiene products. In 2022, she said she signed bipartisan legislation to gradually eliminate the 6.5% state sales tax on groceries. With this plan, she said she has again urged leadership to provide immediate tax relief for Kansans.

If passed, Kelly said SB 57 and HB 2111 would see the immediate elimination of the statewide sales tax on groceries, as well as the state sales tax on other essentials like diapers and feminine hygiene products - which were not included in the 2022 bill.

“Over the last year, the legislature heard from hundreds - if not thousands - of Kansans from all corners of the state. Their demand was clear: Axe the food tax,” Representative Tom Sawyer, District 95, who introduced the bills in the House, said. “Election year politicking prevented us from an immediate elimination of the tax in 2022. Hopefully, now that the election is complete, we can move forward at full speed and respond to the critical needs of our state.”

Kelly indicated that Senate Bill 55 and House Bill 2108 would create a back-to-school sales tax holiday. She said the 3-day holiday would include school supplies, personal computers, instructional materials and art supplies each August. It would also provide relief to families and teachers who gear up for back-to-school and keep retailers competitive with surrounding states.

Lastly, the Governor noted that Senate Bill 56 and House Bill 2107 would create social security income tax relief. Currently, she said Kansans who earn less than $75,000 annually do not pay state income tax on social security income. However, once they earn a dollar more - including through investments and life insurance polices - the entirety of their income is subject to state income tax. She said the legislation would smooth out that cliff so no one who makes under $100,000 pays full taxes on social security.

To advocate for these bills, Kansans can call their legislators at 800-432-3924.