Baby getting diaper changed, hand holding diaper

Kansas considers sales tax holiday, permanent tax exemption for diapers and tampons

Kansas Governor Laura Kelly is all for providing sales tax relief, such as getting rid of the sales tax on food and other essentials. In fact, she says she’s “dead set on making sure working Kansans get a tax cut this year.” But she’s not for just any old tax cut.

On January 26, 2024, the Kansas Legislature passed a bill (HB 2284) that, among other provisions, would establish a flat 5.25% individual income tax and provide property tax relief. It would also fully exempt food from the state sales tax starting April 1, 2024. Currently, the state sales tax on food is set to hit 0% on January 1, 2025.

Governor Kelly vetoed HB 2284 the day it landed on her desk. “I support responsible tax cuts, but I refuse to sign into law a reckless flat tax that would take us back to Brownback,” she wrote in her veto message, referring to former Governor Sam Brownback, her predecessor. Income tax cuts created during Brownback’s tenure brought Kansas to the brink of a fiscal cliff.

The Kansas Legislature is expected to try to override the veto. Meanwhile, there’s HB 2586 to consider, a bill backed by the governor.

“HB 2586 contains several tax relief provisions that are similar — and in some cases identical — to the plan passed by the legislature,” according to the Tax Foundation. One key difference is the approach to individual income tax reform: While HB 2284 would create a flat income tax, HB 2586 would maintain the state’s graduated income tax rates. The Tax Foundation prefers the income tax policy put forward in HB 2284.

Another difference: HB 2586 would make more sales tax changes than the Legislature’s bill.

A new sales tax exemption for family care products

Diapers would be exempt from Kansas sales tax on and after April 1, 2024. Feminine hygiene products would also be sales tax exempt from that date forward if HB 2586 becomes law.

Kansas isn’t the only state looking to exempt such essential products. More than a dozen states are considering a sales tax exemption for diapers, menstrual products, or both.

A new sales tax holiday

HB 2586 would create a back-to-school sales tax holiday, something the governor touted during her 2024 State of the State address. For four days in early August, qualifying clothing, computers, and school supplies would be exempt from state and local sales tax.

Many states have at least one sales tax holiday, but Kansas currently doesn’t have a tax-free weekend.

A fast end to the food tax

Like the vetoed bill, HB 2586 would accelerate the timeline for the sales tax exemption for food. If enacted, there will be no state sales tax on food sold for home consumption in Kansas starting April 1, 2024.

Local sales taxes would still apply to applicable food sales.

If Kansas does create a new sales tax holiday, exempt diapers and menstrual products, or eliminate the state tax on food sooner rather than later, we’ll let you know at the Avalara Tax Desk. In the meantime, read about other sales tax changes in Avalara Tax Changes 2024.

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