While Governor Kelly’s tax council is exploring options to raise taxes to pay for explosive state spending, the Kiplinger financial report shows Kansas is the 10th least friendly tax state in the nation.

Kansas has one of the highest sales tax rates at an average of 8.67%, which includes a tax on groceries. Many residents born and raised in Kansas may not realize that the majority of states, 32 of them, do not tax groceries at all. A handful of states tax groceries at a lower rate. Kansas taxes groceries at the full sales tax rate. According to the Tax Foundation, Colorado and Nebraska do not tax groceries, Missouri does at 1.225%. Oklahoma taxes groceries at 4.5%, however, Oklahoma offsets grocery taxes by lower taxes in other sectors, notably income tax.

New Hampshire is the 10th most tax-friendly state.  It has no sales tax and no state income tax, although dividends and interest are taxed at 5%.

Kansas state income tax rates range from 3.1% to 5.7%. Colorado, considered tax-friendly by Kiplinger, has a flat income tax rate of 4.63%.  Kiplinger says Missouri and Oklahoma have a mixed tax picture. Oklahoma’s income tax range is better than Kansas, with a low of 0.5% and a high of 5%; Missouri has a much lower bottom rate – 1.5% – but its maximum rate is a tad higher than Kansas at 6%.

Median property tax on $100,000 of assessed value in Kansas is $1,491 and far worse than any neighboring state; Missouri and Oklahoma are $1,026, and $974 respectively, and Colorado is even lower at just $607. Property tax in New Hampshire is $2,296 per $100,000 of assessed value.

Kansas’ unusually high tax burden could be a factor in the Sunflower State being named by United Van Lines as the 5th most popular state to leave.  In addition to Kansas, the most popular states to move from are New Jersey, Illinois, Connecticut, and New York. And like Kansas, all of them are on Kiplinger’s least tax-friendly list.

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