The sales tax rate for the City of Emporia is currently 8.15%.  The recent state budget bill increased the sales tax rate for the state of Kansas by .35%.  The resulting sales tax rate for the City of Emporia will be 8.5%.  This rate change will take place on July 1, 2015.

When sales tax rates change, businesses need to prepare for the transition.  If you have a computerized Point of Sale register, research how to make the conversion within your system parameters.  If your business has layaway or other extended invoice plans, run through a systems check to determine how the sales tax rates will impact open accounts.  If you have “regular” customers that often use exact change for purchases, you may want to inform them of a sales tax increase.

Make some additional time to inform staff of the change in the sales tax rate, especially if ownership or management will be gone on Wednesday, July 1st during the conversion.

Emporia Main Street will do our best to inform the public of the changing sales tax rate, and local media generally does a fantastic job informing both businesses and area citizens of business changes that can impact them at the register.

Beyond the increase sales tax rate, there was a lot of discussion about ending certain sales tax exemptions in the recent budget bill.  As of right now, we cannot verify that any of those exemptions have changed.  According to the Kansas Department of Revenue, the following categories of goods and/or services are subject to sales tax:

  • Retail sale, rental or lease of tangible personal property;
  • Labor services to install, apply, repair, service, alter, or maintain tangible personal property, and
  • Admissions to entertainment, amusement, or recreation places in Kansas.
Please determine if any of these new applications of sales tax apply to your business type and make the relevant adjustments to your pricing schedules.
From a public standpoint, remember that local businesses simply serve as tax collectors. They do not set tax policy, nor do they have the capability to defer or waive sales taxes that they are required to collect.  The move towards what are called “consumption taxes” like sales tax is part of a long term conversion strategy by the majority of the current electorate in the Kansas House and Senate, and businesses are simply the collection arm of that strategy.

If you have any questions about these or other state tax matters, please visit the following website to obtain additional information from the Kansas Department of Revenue.
See this article and much more in this week’s Emporia Main Street E-newsletter!