Kansas congresswoman seeks repeal of federal shoe tax - KCTV5 News

Kansas congresswoman seeks repeal of federal shoe tax

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Since the 1930s, the federal government has imposed a tax on imported shoes.

The goal of the tax was to raise funds to help boost domestic shoe sales. The tax can be as high as 68 percent of the costs and can drive the cost of a pair of shoes from $10 to $30.

The lower the cost, the higher the tax, according to Footwear Distributors and Retailers of America. Shoes made from canvas are taxed at a higher rate than shoes made from leather.

The group contends that 99 percent of all shoes sold in the United States are imported and the tax should be repealed.

U.S. Rep. Lynn Jenkins, a Republican from Kansas, is asking her colleagues in Congress to repeal the tax.

Shoppers at the popular downtown Kansas City store, Bob Jones Shoes, said they hope Congress approves a repeal.

"My pitch is at least make it universally fair for everyone," said Harry Bosley, co-owner of Bob Jones Shoes.

Many shoppers said they don't know about the tax, which dates from the Smoot-Hawley Act of 1930. The cost of the tax is lumped into the overall shoe price so shoppers never see the actual cost from the tax.

Repealing the tax would save shoe shoppers an estimated $3 billion annually.

Jenkins is asking Congress to take up the tax repeal during the current session, and she is optimistic that she will be successful.

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