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Minutes for HB2265 - Committee on Taxation

Short Title

Providing a sales tax exemption for required textbooks and authorizing a local sales tax on required textbooks.

Minutes Content for Mon, Feb 22, 2021

Chairperson Smith opened the hearing on HB2265.

Amelia Kovar-Donohue, Assistant Revisor presented an overview on HB2265 that provides for a sales tax exemption from the state sales tax for all sales of textbooks purchased by a student that are required for classes held by public or private        post-secondary educational institutions.  (Attachment 1)

Kathleen Smith, Department of Revenue stated HB2265 would decrease state revenues by $5.6 million in FY2022.  Of that total, the State General Fund is estimated to decrease by $4.7 million in FY2022 while the State Highway Fund is estimated to decreased by $900,000 in FY2022.  The Department indicates that similar results would also occur in future fiscal years.  HB2265 would require $85,705 from the State General Fund in FY2022 to implement the bill and to modify the automated tax system. Ms. Smith noted the way the bill is drafted it could potentially put the State out of compliance with the streamline sales tax agreement and result in a loss of revenue around $41.0 million. 


Representative Woodward, 30th District testified as a proponent for HB2265 stating he has been involved in this discussion since he was a Student Body Vice President at the University of Kansas.  When the bill was drafted, the intention of lowering the fiscal note compared to previous years did make it applicable to universities and community colleges affiliated book stores.  Representative Woodard stated if this bill is worked, he would consider an amendment to address the concerns of the Department of Revenue regarding the Streamlined Sales and Use Tax Agreement.  (Attachment 2)

Representative Woodward stood for questions from Committee members.

Faith Lopez, Student, KU and State Relations Coordinator for the Student Legislative Action Committee testified as a proponent to HB2265 via Webex noting based on the results from a survey conducted in 2019 by the KBOR Student Advisory Committee over textbook affordability, the majority of students are spending well over $500 on textbooks each semester.  For textbooks costing $500 the state tax is 6.5% in Kansas that amounts to $32 that could better be used to put towards groceries, gas, or housing.  Removing the sales tax on textbooks would be an economic contribution to college students to the State.  (Attachment 3)

Kathlynn Short, Chief of Staff for the Wichita State Student Government Association testified as a proponent to HB2265 via Webex noted the bill would allow ease of cost and save money that could be used for other expenses by students.  Students are facing a financial crisis and a health crisis due to the Coronavirus pandemic and attempting to learn through all of it.  The Wichita State Student Government believes passing HB2265 would aid in the accessibility of college.  (Attachment 4)

Tel Wittmer, Student Body President at Kansas State University testified as a proponent to HB2265 stating college costs are rising and the cost of living has increased noting in today's competitive economy, nothing is more important than access to post-secondary education.  Recent data from the College Board shows that the average undergraduate student at a four-year college spent $1,240 on books and supplies during the 2019-2020 school year.  Data shows that the prices of textbooks have increased even more due to the pandemic and increased demand for education resources absent from the classroom.  Passing HB2265 would help students in making college more affordable and accessible to those who need it the most.  (Attachment 5)

William Barfield, Student and Senator in the Student Government Association at Fort Hays State University testified as a proponent to HB2265 via Webex noting textbooks have skyrocketed alongside the price of attending college which is a barrier to education.  To alleviate the tax burden on textbooks for students helps make those resources more affordable  Adding a tax onto what is a barrier is doing more harm than good and is antithetical to the purpose of taxation.  (Attachment 6)

Written testimony as proponents to HB2265 was submitted by the following:

Representative Nick Hoheisel, 97th District (Attachment 7)

Matt Lindsey, President, Kansas Independent College Association (Attachment 8)

Chairperson Smith closed the hearing on HB2265.