Legislation to double Kansas’ gallonage tax on alcohol was introduced today as another way of raising money to avoid deeper cuts to services.
The increased revenue would be split evenly between mental health services and services for the developmentally disabled, according to Rep. Kay Wolf, a Prairie Village Republican who sponsored the bill today in House tax committee.
The gallonage tax isn’t one that you see on your receipt at the liquor store. It’s a tax that’s levied on the manufacturer or importer, so it’s typically passed along to the consumer as part of the price. (Retailers and bars and restaurants pay a different tax).
The tax rate currently is 18 cents for every gallon of beer, 30 cents for a gallon of wine, and $2.50 for a gallon of liquor. It raises about $20 million a year.
The gallonage tax hasn’t been increased since 1977.
County mental health centers have been cut drastically since the recession prompted lawmakers to reduce state spending. And some 4,300 Kansans living with a developmental disability are currently waiting for services.
It could get worse unless Kansas lawmakers can seek to balance the budget — facing a shortfall of some $400 million — without more spending cuts.