Private Letter Ruling

Ruling Number:P-1999-162
Tax Type:Kansas Retailers' Sales Tax
Brief Description:Taxability of welding rod purchased and used by a farmer.
Approval Date:07/26/1999

Office of Policy and Research

July 26, 1999


Re: Kansas Sales Tax


Your correspondence of June 1, 1999, has been referred to me for response. Thank you for your inquiry.

By your letter you ask for our advice concerning the taxability of welding rod purchased and used by a farmer. You indicate it is your opinion that the welding rod should be exempt from Kansas sales tax as “farm machinery and equipment” or as a “repair and replacement part.” You argue that since welding rod becomes part of the machine it is used to repair, it is not equipment, but actually a repair part.

The Kansas retailer’s sales tax is imposed by K.S.A. 79-3603. Exemptions are found in K.S.A. 79-3606. Subsection (t) of the statute provides an exemption for:
Aside from the farm machinery and equipment sales tax exemption, farmers and ranchers must usually pay sales tax on items purchased for use in farming and ranching operations. Thus, purchases of boots, gloves, work clothes, fencing materials, building materials, baling twine and wire, hand tools, etc., are subject to sales tax in the state of Kansas. In the context of your letter, welding rod falls into this category.

Welding rod is not farm machinery and equipment, nor is it a repair or replacement part. It is a welding supply. As a result, it does not fall within the exemption provided by K.S.A. 79-3606(t) and, accordingly, your purchase of welding rod will be subject to sales tax.

Please be advised it is the opinion of this department that, as used in the statute, the phrase “repair and replacement parts” refers to items which would be found on a manufacturer’s parts list, service parts list, or similar parts listing for a given piece of machinery or equipment, or the generic equivalent of such listed part. It includes such items as bolts, nuts, washers, cotter keys, etc., used in the repair of combines, tractors, etc., but only if these items are included on the original parts listing. Items not included in such a listing would not qualify for the exemption as a repair or replacement part.

In your letter you argue that because welding rod becomes part of the machine it fixes it is “consumed” in the process of welding, and that it is therefore “consumed in production.” As you may know, the phrase “consumed in production” is a term of art. The controlling statute, 79-3606(n), provides an exemption for:
Farm production includes such things as the raising of crops, animal husbandry, etc. Repairs to farm machinery are several steps removed from farm production. Therefore, it is the opinion of this department that welding rod does not fall within the exemption provided by K.S.A. 79-3606(n) and, accordingly, that your purchase of welding rod will be subject to sales tax.

This private letter ruling is based solely on the facts provided in your request. If it is determined that undisclosed facts were material or necessary to make an accurate determination by the department, this ruling is null and void. This private letter ruling will be revoked in the future by operation of law without further department action if there is a change in the statutes, administrative regulations, or case law, or a published revenue ruling, that materially affects this private letter ruling.

I trust this information is of assistance. If I can be of further service, please feel free to contact me.


Jim Weisgerber
Tax Specialist


Date Composed: 08/04/1999 Date Modified: 10/11/2001