Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Kansas House advances sales tax refund on textbooks

By SCOTT ROTHSCHILD, The Lawrence Journal-World

TOPEKA — College students in Kansas would get a tax break on the purchase of their textbooks under a proposal that was advanced Tuesday by the House.

Under the measure, students could file for a refund of the state sales taxes that they spend on textbooks purchased in Kansas.

"This will help offset the cost of attaining a college education," said state Rep. Brandon Whipple, D-Wichita, who proposed the measure.

A group of students, including some from Kansas University, had recently met with legislators, saying that removal of the sales tax on textbooks was a major priority.

Students spend an average of $660 per year on textbooks. By eliminating the sales tax, that would save them about $40 per year.

Whipple got his proposal approved by a voice vote as an amendment to House Bill 2557, which would withhold penalties on taxpayers for failing to pay the proper amount of taxes if they pay up the additional taxes within 30 days.

The bill faces a final vote Wednesday.