Kansas City’s Poor Tax
In an effort to research the so-called food desert in Kansas City, I shopped around at some of the grocery stores on the east side. I found several grocery stores with well-stocked produce aisles. I even did some grocery shopping as I wanted to know what locals were paying in sales tax. What I found surprised me.
The Aldi grocery store in Gladstone charged the least sales tax at 4.725%. The Aldi at 721 Paseo Blvd in Kansas City charged me 6.35% sales tax. The one at 6415 Troost charged me 5.85% sales tax.
While I expected Kansas City taxes to be higher than taxes outside the city in Gladstone, I did not expect the Aldis on the east side of Kansas City to tax so differently than one another.
This is troubling. A tax on food is bad enough as it is the most regressive of all taxes. Everyone must eat, and as the poor pay a larger portion of their income on food than the rich, this tax impacts them disproportionately. Add to this the apparent fact that grocery stores on the east side–in the middle of the so-called food desert–pay an even larger tax bill than grocery stores elsewhere, and you have a double whammy.