Testimony: Support lower food tax

SCR 1604 is having a hearing today in committee in the Kansas Legislature. This legislation would introduce an amendment to the Kansas Constitution (and thus would need voter approval) to progressively lower the sales tax on food, until it reaches 2%. This would bring it near at least two neighboring states that already have a 0% sales tax on food. MainStream supports this effort, and has submitted the following testimony to the committee.

Testimony to Senate Committee on Assessment and Taxation
Chair, Sen. Caryn Tyson
Hearing: Thursday, February 1, 2018, 9:30 am, Room 548-S

Position – SUPPORT SCR 1604

Chair Tyson, and Members of the Committee, 

The MainStream Coalition strongly supports SCR 1604, reducing sales tax on food. This measure would improve the lives of rural and lower income Kansans immeasurably, both saving money and improving health.

As Kansans spend less on food, they can invest that savings, or purchase other goods, improving the state’s economic outlook. If they instead spend the savings to purchase higher quality foods, their health outcomes improve, which again benefits the state. This is a measure with little downside.

MainStream has long supported returning Kansas to a responsible revenue policy that does not unduly burden any particular segment of Kansas society. When income tax cuts failed to produce hoped for benefits to the state, the legislature passed a record increase in sales tax, including on food. Promises to reduce the food tax a year later were not honored. The measure included in SCR 1604 makes good on that promise.

Thank you.

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