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Kansas lawmakers search for ways to reduce state’s high sales tax on groceries

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ROELAND PARK, Kan. -- Going to the store in Kansas may get a whole lot cheaper because lawmakers are looking at ways to reduce or end the state's high sales tax on groceries.

Some lawmakers are actually pushing for a constitutional amendment to rid the burden on tax payers. The amendment would gradually bring the rate down from 6.5 percent over the next three years.   The tax would be  4 percent by July 2017, 2 percent by July 2018 and the all the way down to zero by 2019.

In 2015 Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback and the legislature increased the tax to combat the budget shortfall, which has resulted in some people shopping across state lines in Missouri where the tax is substantially less at 1.225.

According to the Topeka Capital Journal the state of Kansas lost nearly $ 21 million in sales tax revenue in 2013.

To get on the ballot, the amendment would require 2/3 votes of both House and Senate.  Another option presented by a representative from Overland Park is to tax groceries at 2.6 percent while ending the income tax exemption for more than 300,000 businesses, but that would require a shift in tax policy.

If either of the proposals pass,Gov. Brownback will have to find others ways to combat the budget shortfall and school funding battle.