Kansas one of few states to charge sales tax on groceries; With sales tax of 10% in some areas of town, Lawrence leaders propose using part of city sales tax collected on groceries to help the poor;

City leaders want to know how much money impoverished Lawrence residents are charged in sales tax on groceries, and whether the city can indirectly return some of that money.

Mayor Stuart Boley brought up the idea at the City Commission’s work session Tuesday, asking his fellow commissioners if they are interested in considering such a program.

“I’ve been working to figure out how much people in Lawrence who are in poverty pay to the city, to us, in sales tax on their groceries, with the idea that we might be able to turn some of that money back around to mitigate hunger in Lawrence,” Boley said.

Kansas is one of only 13 states in the U.S. that charge any sales tax on groceries, according to a 2016 report from the Tax Foundation. In Lawrence, residents pay at least 9.05 percent sales tax on purchases, including groceries, and in some areas of the city, sales tax on purchases can be more than 10 percent.

(Read more: LJWorld.com / Lawrence, Kansas)