Potential sales tax increase lies in hands of Kansas House

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TOPEKA, Kan. -- You could soon be forking out more money for almost everything you buy in Kansas. The bill that would hike sales taxes is in the hands of the House, after it passed the Senate. The House is expected to vote on the bill on Tuesday.

From groceries to cigarettes, the bill would tack on a higher tax to the things many of us buy every day. Patricia Shields says she feels like she's being punished for being a smoker.

“It’s definitely unfair. Unhealthy food, there's a lot of things that’s unhealthy that people aren't overtaxed for,” she said.

Smokers face a potential 50 cent increase, and cigarettes are just the beginning. If passed, the bill would add four-tenths of a cent to the general sales tax.

According to the Kansas City Star, after a year the sales tax on food would drop 1.6 cents.

Republican House Representative Rick Billinger of Goodland says raising taxes is never ideal.

“It hasn't run by now is because I think there's not a whole lot of support. I don't know how much, but obviously there's not enough to pass it,” Rep. Billinger said.

On Monday, lawmakers left the Capitol with once again, a budget that isn't yet balanced, while voters say they are ready for the longest legislative session in Kansas history to come to an end.