Rep. Jerry Stogsdill urges lawmakers to repeal sales taxes on over-the-counter drugs and foods

Each week during the 2022 Kansas Legislative Session, we will provide Shawnee Mission area lawmakers with the opportunity to share their thoughts on what is happening in the state capitol.

Below is this week’s submission from Democratic Rep. Jerry Stogsdill of Kansas House District 21, which covers parts of Leawood, Mission Hills, Overland Park and Prairie Village.

The views expressed in each Capitol update are solely those of the legislator and do not reflect the Post’s position on any matter discussed.

We are approaching the home stretch of the 2022 legislative session in Topeka with most major issues still unresolved.

Most committees wrapped up their work for the year last Friday, so any hope for new legislation will mostly come from adding amendments to current bills as they hit the floor for discussion. and votes.

Key issues yet to be resolved include redistricting, school funding, higher education budget and Medicaid expansion, as well as KPERS funding, election fairness and accessibility, medical cannabis and sports betting.

We also need to address property tax relief, due process for teachers, the removal of sales tax on over-the-counter drugs, and the removal of sales tax on grocery sales.

Under Republican leadership, most of these issues and more will, as usual, not be fully addressed until the very last days of the veto session, which begins April 25 and is expected to end May 10.

As a member of the House Tax Committee, I want to focus this column on the elimination of the state sales tax on groceries, which is the highest in the nation, and on a bill that I presented to the tax committee, which would remove a sales tax on over-the-counter drugs.

Removing the sales tax on groceries and over-the-counter drugs is especially important for border counties like Johnson and Wyandotte.

Johnson and Wyandotte counties face stiff competition from the Missouri side of the state line, where sales taxes on groceries and over-the-counter drugs are significantly lower. This reality encourages many Kansans to spend their money on food and medicine in Missouri.

Eliminating the Kansas state sales tax on groceries and over-the-counter drugs would encourage Kansans to shop in Kansas and actually encourage Missourians to spend some of their money on food and medicine in Kansas. Most importantly, removing the state sales tax on groceries and medicines would benefit ALL Kansan, especially families on tight budgets.

Both sides of the aisle agree that there is money to fix these sales tax issues, but some major disagreements exist over how to reduce these taxes. My fellow Democrats and I have proposed to completely eliminate the state sales tax on groceries and over-the-counter drugs THIS YEAR. The money is there to make it happen.

Republicans have presented a plan to gradually reduce these sales taxes over several years. Their plan would have a much smaller impact on family budgets and would make it easier for future lawmakers to bring the tax down to an unacceptable level.

If you have a particular perspective on this issue, I encourage you to reach out to Kansas House and Senate Republican leaders. You can find contact information for legislators at kslegislature.org. Let them know how you feel.

As always, if you have any questions or suggestions, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

You can call me on my cell phone at 913-579-9208 or my office at 785-296-7692.

You can also email me at [email protected] or [email protected]

I will also update what is happening in Topeka on my Facebook page.

Sallie R. Loera