Emma O’Brien
January 13, 2022 


 If he doesn’t support getting a clean bill on Governor Kelly’s desk by January 29, the answer is “no”

Topeka, KS — On Tuesday, Governor Laura Kelly issued her fourth State of the State address, highlighting her administration’s work to fix the state budget, create record economic growth and new jobs, and fully fund public schools for the fourth year in a row. She also called on the state legislature to deliver a clean bill to Axe the Food Tax, a pragmatic plan that would save Kansans an average of $500 every year, by Kansas Day, January 29.

Eliminating the state’s high food sales tax has been a bipartisan goal for years now. Governor Kelly’s proposal is the closest the state has ever gotten to getting it done. Despite years of voting to increase Kansas’ food sales tax in the Senate, Derek Schmidt now suddenly claims to support eliminating this burden on Kansas families. His support falls short of making any actual moves to get it done, and when asked directly, failed to agree to support a clean bill that doesn’t include other tax items for corporate giveaways.

“Whatever the reason behind Schmidt’s sudden support of eliminating the high food sales tax, we’re happy to see him get on board with Governor Kelly’s plan to save Kansans hundreds of dollars every year,” said Emma O’Brien, spokesperson for the KDP. “Now, he must put politics aside and encourage his colleagues to get a clean bill on the Governor’s desk. His failure to commit to this once again signals he cares more about his own politics than helping Kansas families.”

Here are the facts: 

  • In 2002, Schmidt voted to increase the sales tax on food from 4.9% to 5.3%.
  • The sales tax was scheduled to go down to 5% in 2005, but Schmidt voted to keep the 5.3% in place until July 2006.
  • Schmidt said nothing when in 2015 his Republican cohorts raised the sales tax to the current 6.5% to pay for Brownback’s tax experiment.
  • Schmidt has remained silent throughout the two decades he’s been in elective office as our food sales tax has become one of the highest in the nation.