West River lawmakers react to Noem’s budget address

The Early evening news on KOTA Territory TV
Published: Dec. 7, 2022 at 8:20 PM CST
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA) - Gov. Kristi Noem laid out her budget plans in the annual address in Pierre. Friday, indicating that her first priority for the 2023 Legislative Session is eliminating the 4.5 percent sales tax on groceries.

“That’s going to be about $120 million a year out of the sales tax revenue that we will not be receiving because of that, so we’re going to be taking a hard look at that,” said state Representative Mike Derby

Eliminating the sales tax on groceries is an effective way to help families feeling the pressures of inflation.

“We tried to remove sales tax on groceries the last session. We caught a lot of opposition. It didn’t get very far, and as everyone knows, the governor was not in favor. I am still for removing the sales tax from groceries,” state Representative Tony Randolph said. “Obviously, the concern now is with the passage of Medicaid; what’s that going to do? And the governor seems to have some things built into her budget that may compensate for this.”

In her address, the governor stated “The people of South Dakota overwhelmingly want this tax cut, and they know we can afford it.” Currently, the state has $310 million of revenue growth, something that Derby says has never happened before.

“I served at an appropriation 20 years ago, and we were fighting over a couple of million dollars back in the day. To be honest with you, as an appropriator, when you don’t have money, it’s a little easier because you just say no, and now, in these times where we have money, it takes it to a new level, makes it a little harder to make decisions; but I’m looking forward to it,” said Derby.