Tool | January 2018

State-by-State Guide to Taxes

Compare state tax rates and rules -- on income, ordinary purchases, gas, sin products, property, and more -- across the U.S.


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The Bottom Line
Map of Kansas

Not Tax Friendly

Taxes have been in a state of flux in Kansas for several years. Governor Sam Brownback ran on a platform of slashing taxes, and pushed through what he called the Kansas Experiment in 2012. It included lots of breaks for business -- and lowered the top personal tax rate from 6.45 percent to 4.6 percent (and it was slated to go lower).The plan was meant to stimulate economic growth and job that would make up for the loss in revenue. But that didn't happen, and in 2017, the state legislature raised income rates back up (and undid the business tax breaks) in an effort to close the state's yawning budget gap.

Plus, the sales tax has gone up in the past few years, and property taxes are on the higher side. For 2017, we've moved Kansas from Mixed Tax Picture to Not Tax Friendly.

Sales Tax

6.5% state levy. Localities can add as much as 4%, and the average combined rate is 8.62%, according to the Tax Foundation. These rates apply to groceries as well. A food sales tax credit of $125 per person is available to seniors and those claiming dependents; to qualify for the credit, federal adjusted gross income may not exceed $30,615.

Income Tax Range

Low: 2.9% (on $15,000 or less of taxable income for single filers and $30,000 or less for joint filers)

High: 5.2 (on more than $30,000 of taxable income for single filers and more than $60,000 for joint filers)

For the 2018 tax year, the low rate will rise to 3.1%, and the high rate to 5.7%.

See’s Retiree Tax Map to learn how Iowa taxes Social Security income and other forms of retirement income.

Motor Fuel Taxes

Gasoline: $0.24 per gallon.
Diesel: $0.26 per gallon.

Property Taxes

The median property tax on Kansas' median home value of $132,000 is $1,849.

See’s Retiree Tax Map for details on tax breaks for seniors in Kansas.

Vehicle Taxes

Sales tax is due on purchases. Counties charge an annual excise tax based on a vehicle’s age and value.

Sin Taxes

Beer: $0.18 per gallon
Wine: $0.30 per gallon
Liquor: $2.50 per gallon
Alcohol for off-premises consumption is taxed at 8%. Beer with 3.2% or less alcohol is taxed at the local sales tax rate.

Cigarettes: $1.29 per pack
Other tobacco products: 10% of wholesale price
e-cigarettes/juice: $0.20 per mL

Travel Taxes

Hotel: Many counties levy a tax of between 2% and 9%. As sales tax is also due, this gives the city of Overland Park the highest lodging taxes in the country, at 17.65%, per a study funded by the American Hotel & Lodging Education Foundation.

Rental cars: 3.5%, plus sales tax.

Taxes On Wireless Service


Inheritance and Estate Taxes

There is no estate tax or inheritance tax.

Oddball Tax

Like a number of Midwestern and mountain states, Kansas permits the sale of beer with 3.2% alcohol or less (the term of art is "cereal malt beverage") by locations other than liquor stores. Kansas also taxes that beer differently. While all products sold in a liquor store, including, say, a six-pack of Budweiser with 5% alcohol by volume, are taxed at 8%, the convenience store down the street may levy only sales tax on the "cereal malt beverage" version of that Bud six-pack. But thanks to Kansas’s county-based sales tax rates, that tax could also end up being more. In Pomona, Kan., for example, the effective rate on the weaker beer would be 9.7%.

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