Gov. Noem promises to repeal SD grocery tax

Published: Sep. 28, 2022 at 8:27 PM CDT
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA) - Wednesday morning, Gov. Kristi Noem announced her plan to repeal the grocery tax in South Dakota to ease the burden of high grocery store prices after previously opposing the removal of the tax.

“I am promising that we will follow through and deliver the largest tax cut in the history of the state of South Dakota,” said Noem.

This comes after rising prices around the country with many families struggling to find affordable options when it comes to food.

“We’ve seen a pound of ground beef go up 25 percent since this administration has taken over. The cost of a dozen eggs has gone up 113 percent,” said Noem.

Noem blamed President Joe Biden for inflation, which has raised the cost of different groceries; and said that this plan would actually bring help to South Dakotans.

But this has not always been the message Noem has echoed. During a news conference in February, she argued that lowering taxes with concerns such as inflation and the uncertainty of the state’s agriculture industry would be irresponsible. Noem also mentioned in the same news conference that if the sales tax was taken away people would be less responsible with their money.

“They would benefit from paying a half pennies sales tax less as well, but they also need to be realistic and conservative in what they’re projecting for revenue,” said Noem.

With the gubernatorial election just a few weeks away, her Democrat opponent Jamie Smith said her about-face on the issue is a façade so she can get more votes.

“This is definitely a campaign move. I believe the governor is nervous about some poll numbers and has to figure out a way to win over some voters. So, she’s moved to a position that she wasn’t supportive of before,” said Smith.

Smith added that the plan that Noem is now pushing is something that he has sought to repeal over the last six years he has served in the Legislature. He said that people should not be taxed for a necessity like food because it’s one of the most regressive forms of sales tax there is.

Aside from Noem switching her stance on the topic, she promised this would be “the largest tax cut in South Dakota’s history” and would “push” $100 million to families in need.

But in March when the South Dakota House decided to pass the cut on taxing groceries, Smith was one of the people cheering on this plan that would help alleviate an issue that affects the lower-income people of South Dakota.