Kelly launches legislative campaign for three-year, $500 million state tax reduction plan

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ROELAND PARK — Governor Laura Kelly launched a campaign Monday to convince the Republican-led legislature that the revenue surplus was enough to eliminate the state grocery tax by April 1, create a three-day sales tax exemption on school supplies and increase the state’s spending. exemption from income tax on Social Security benefits.

Individual pieces of the Democratic governor’s proposal, including the additional idea of ​​eliminating the state tax on diapers and feminine hygiene products, have been discussed by the legislature. The only element embraced by members of the House and Senate was the elimination of the grocery sales tax, but the bill signed by Kelly earlier this year would achieve that goal over a three-year period.

“By reducing taxes on groceries and diapers, school supplies and Social Security, this plan will put money back in Kansans’ pockets and create real savings for those who need it most,” Kelly said. “I call on legislators on both sides to support these bills and provide practical financial assistance to families and retirees in our great state.”

Speaking at a news conference in the fresh produce section of a Price Chopper store, the governor said the “Axing Your Taxes” program would save Kansans more than $500 million over the next three years. More than three-quarters of that total would come from dropping the state’s 6.5% sales tax on groceries by April 1 or July 1, she said.

Under existing law, the state-imposed food sales tax would drop to 4% on January 1, fall to 2% on January 1, 2024, and be eliminated on January 1, 2025. The governor had proposed the food tax be scrapped in 2022 , but the compromise was a three-step process.

Kelly said she was proud of that bipartisan bill, but remained convinced it “didn’t go far enough fast enough.”

“Kansans still need more help,” Kelly said. “The cost of groceries is way too high, it’s as simple as that. Historically, the grocery tax in Kansas is one of the highest in the country, which is somewhat ironic when you consider that we grow the food that feeds America and the world.”

Republicans in the House and Senate responsible for shaping the tax code have expressed no enthusiasm about speeding up the food sales tax cut process, preferring to focus state resources on income and property tax cuts.

Kelly also urged the legislature to pass a three-day state tax exemption on school supplies, personal computers, instructional materials, and art supplies each August. It would benefit families and educators while providing an incentive for people not to cross the Missouri border to purchase these items, she said.

The state income tax on Social Security income kicks in when a person earns more than $75,000 annually, but Kelly’s proposed bill would raise that exemption to $100,000. She said it was bad policy for Kansas to tax a person’s entire Social Security income if that person earned $75,001 or more. The estimated cost of the modification would be about $50 million, she said.

In June, Republican gubernatorial candidate Derek Schmidt proposed eliminating state taxes on benefits and income from Social Security, IRAs, annuities and other retirement plans to limit population emigration from Kansas. Schmidt’s proposal would have cost the state coffers an estimated $230 million annually.

The Valley Voice
The Valley Voicehttp://thevalleyvoice.org
Christopher Brito is a social media producer and trending writer for The Valley Voice, with a focus on sports and stories related to race and culture.

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