RELEASE: AG Derek Schmidt statement on August inflation report

TOPEKA – (September 13, 2022) – Kansas Attorney General and Republican Nominee for Governor Derek Schmidt issued the following statement on today’s August inflation report:

“Joe Biden’s inflation is hurting everyone, and the truth is Laura Kelly has made daily life less affordable for Kansans by spending more than we can afford and vetoing the grocery tax cut when she had the chance to sign it in 2019,” Schmidt said. “If the governor would have actually worked with Republicans like she constantly claims she does, Kansans grocery tax would be half what it is today and at zero in January. Instead, Governor Kelly put politics over your pocket books, and as a result Kansans are still paying the same state tax on groceries they paid the day she took office.” 

The Bureau of Labor Statistics today released its Consumer Price Index report for August, showing an inflation rate of 8.3 percent on all items. The report also showed: 

The energy index increased 23.8 percent for the 12 months ending August…The food index increased 11.4 percent over the last year, the largest 12 month increase since the period ending May 1979. 

If Kelly had signed HB 2033 into law in 2019, the state sales tax on food would have dropped to 2.9% this year, and it would be eliminated in January. 

In her four years in office, Kelly has increased overall annual state spending by $6 billion, including $1.8 billion funded by general state taxes. On her watch, the state is spending $22.9 billion in fiscal year 2023, a whopping 35.5 percent more than the $16.9 billion in fiscal year 2019. At the same time, Kansas has fewer people working in the private sector, flat population growth, and the aforementioned record-high inflation to show for it. 

For her second term, the Kelly administration has recommended increasing income taxes on Kansans who earn more than $50,000 per year. 

Schmidt has proposed his Retire Tax Free plan to eliminate Kansas income tax on Social Security benefits, pensions and distributions from dedicated retirement accounts like 401k’s. Last week, he proposed eliminating the state sales tax on diapers and feminine hygiene products to provide relief to women, mothers, and working families.

On Friday, Schmidt was endorsed by the state’s two biggest associations representing Kansas job creators, the Kansas Chamber of Commerce Political Action Committee and the National Federation of Independent Business Kansas Political Action Committee.