The bill passed both houses of the Republican-dominated Congress but was rejected by Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly.
At the same time, the proposal to repeal the local sales tax on food — which surprised Johnson County mayors, almost all of whom signed letters to legislators against it — never made it into the final tax bill anyway. .
So what food sales tax am I paying?
The state sales tax on food remains at 4% this year. The state sales tax will be zero in 2025.
However, zero doesn’t really mean zero to most Kansasians.
That’s because counties, cities, and special tax districts will still charge sales tax on covered foods in addition to state sales tax this year.
The phasing out of the food excise tax isn’t just for grocery stores.
For example, bottled water, vending machine food, candy, etc.
Foods that can be eaten in restaurants or ready-to-eat foods sold in grocery stores are not eligible for phasing out.
What does this mean for grocery bills in Johnson County?
Depending on where you shop, there is a big difference in how much you can add up.
The state sales tax on food was cut from 6.5% to 4% in January, but most Kansasans pay more.
Food tax rates in Johnson County range from a low 6.475% (in Prairie Villages outside the Special Tax District) to 8.975% in several community improvement districts in Fairway, Orace and Westwood.
is the total including
- 4% state sales tax,
- 1.475% county sales tax,
- whatever the sales tax each city imposes,
- Plus additional sales taxes levied in special districts set up to encourage development.
Are there cheaper places nearby?
There’s always been Missouri, and the current state food sales tax is much lower at 1.225%, but local taxes across state lines can add up to 8% on certain items. I have.
When it comes to Kansas, Johnson Counties isn’t having much luck.
Currently, 24 cities have an actual food sales tax of 4%. This is because these cities are in counties and towns with no local sales tax.
When those places finally have zero food sales tax, people in those places will be living the dream of walking out of the local grocery store paying only for groceries.
Sadly, most of these towns are hundreds of miles away from Johnson County.
So if you have the time to schedule a trip, say, 288 miles to McCracken, or 257 miles to Otis, it’s a possibility. Cassoday, about 133 miles from here, is the closest.
But spending money to drive gas there could offset the food savings.
So can you give me an example of how much you’re paying in Johnson County?
For example, let’s say you shop at a store in Lenexa City Center and purchase eligible groceries.
You will pay the county sales tax of 1.475% and the city of Lenexa sales tax of 1.375%.
You must also pay the current state food sales tax of 4% (which will eventually be phased out).
Finally, if you’re in one of the City Center Community Improvement Districts, you’ll pay 1% more.
This adds up to a tax amount of 7.850%.
That’s just for food. Items such as toilet paper, soap, alcohol, and tobacco are even higher as the state tax rate for “non-food” is still 6.5%.
Are there higher places in the Johnson count?
The Kansas Department of Revenue, the source for most of this story, shows where the highest tax on food is in the county.
- 55th Fairway and Parkway Community Improvement Districts (new Starbucks sites),
- Conference Center Hotel CID In Olathe
- Westwood South Woodside CID in Westwood (around 47th and Rainbow).
You will pay 8.975% sales tax when you purchase groceries from stores in these regions.
The lowest tax rates were in parts of Prairie Village outside the special tax districts.
The lowest shopping rate in the special zone was at 7.1% in the Oak Park Mall Transportation Development Zone in Overland Park.
Rowland Park Shopping Center #2 TDD — near Price Chopper on Rowe Boulevard — was 7.475%, as were ‘The Village’ in Prairie Village and the Corinth Square development.
There were several other special zones with a food share of 7.6%.
Also, what is a special tax district?
Community Improvement and Transportation Development Districts are special areas created by cities that are used to encourage development by paying a portion of the developer’s or city’s costs.
Revenues generated by special sales taxes within these designated districts can be used to pay for necessary infrastructure improvements and other development costs.
Sales taxes in these districts usually expire eventually.
So if you want to pay less tax, can you avoid shopping in these tax districts?
Planning to shop outside of the special tax districts of Johnson County can be daunting.
For one, there are many.
Overland Park, for example, had 26 listed in the state table. Lenexa was 16.
Another reason is that boundaries are often complex and sometimes come down to whether the store is at an even or odd address.
Only a few cities in Johnson County that were on the Kansas Department of Revenue list did not have special sales tax districts. (Merriam, Mission Hills, Mission Woods, Westwood Hills.)
The easiest way to find out if you are paying the District Tax is to ask at the counter.
So… who wants to carpool with McCracken?
Roxie Hammill is a freelance journalist who frequently reports for The Post and other Kansas City-area publications. You can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.