KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Kansas’ new food tax is causing some confusion. The lower 4% rate took effect Sunday, but some shoppers saw both the old 6.5% tax rate and the new one on their grocery receipts.
“God. This is crazy,” said Diane Bulleigh of Baldwin City. She went to a Walmart in Lawrence Sunday to purchase some food. The item cost $12.98, but when she got her receipt, she saw a final total of $15.07.
“And I’m going, ‘That’s not right.’ So, I looked at the ticket and it said two sales tax.”
The first line listed a 9.3% tax while the second line listed one for 6.8%. She went to customer service and got the 9.3% back. However, they didn’t give her the other tax since it was the correct one.
The reason for that is it includes the 4% food tax, as well as a 1.55% tax for the city of Lawrence, and a 1.25% tax for Douglas County.
Still, she’s not alone in being charged two separate tax rates the first day the law took effect.
Walmart issued a statement Wednesday saying:
“On Jan. 1, after the reduced state sales tax rate on food items went into effect in Kansas, some customers were mistakenly charged the higher, outdated rate, along with the new rate. The issue has been resolved, and we apologize for any inconvenience.
Customers seeking a refund or with questions should bring their receipt to their local Walmart store and speak to a member of management.”
FOX4 has heard reports from others who spent money at Dillon’s and Casey’s where they were charged the old 6.5% rate instead of 4%.
Keep in mind, if you bought non-food items like cleaning products and clothing along with any food, you will see two different rates.
Washburn University Economist Paul Byrne explains it by comparing steak and a frying pan.
“The frying pan is going to still have the same 6.5% state sales tax. But the steak, given that it’s food, it’s going to have a lower sales tax rate of just 4%,” he said.
If that’s the case, you’ll see two separate lines on your receipt. The first line should show the higher tax rate for your non-food items, while the second line will be the food rate.
“They may assume that they’re being taxed twice where it’s really just a subset of the bill,” Byrne said.
But if you’re like Bulleigh and only purchase food, you should see a single line indicating your tax, not two.
“It needs to be brought to everybody’s attention,” she said.
If you had an issue Sunday, bring your receipt back to where you purchased your items and discuss a refund.