Republican South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem said Wednesday that if she is re-elected, she will work to eliminate South Dakota’s tax on groceries.
Noem said the permanent elimination of the 4.5 percent tax would be “the largest tax cut in South Dakota’s history,” adding that it would return $100 million “directly to families to help them with their budget,” The Associated Press reported.
“What I’m hearing from families is they cannot believe how much groceries cost,” Noem said, according to KELO-TV.
Noem, who this month said health issues would restrict her public appearances, made the announcement during a news conference in Rapid City.
“I have seen families across South Dakota struggling to make ends meet with rising inflation because of President [Joe] Biden’s policies. His failed liberal agenda has caused the cost of food to skyrocket, and family budgets are being stretched thin,” Noem said, according to Fox News.
I’ve seen families across SD struggle to make ends meet because of Biden’s inflation. I’m proposing the largest tax cut in state history: eliminating sales tax on groceries.
This will put $100 MILLION back into the pockets of SD families.
Cutting taxes. Saving families $$$. pic.twitter.com/tdISaXdbxP
— Kristi Noem (@KristiNoem) September 28, 2022
“South Dakotans work hard. They get up every day and provide for their families, but the Biden administration’s policies are destroying their ability to feed their children,” she said.
“Senior citizens, working parents and single moms are all struggling with rising food and gas prices. South Dakota will continue to do the right thing and protect our people from a disastrous White House.”
Eliminating the tax was proposed this year by legislative Democrats, according to the Argus Leader. At the time, Noem was reluctant to support the proposal.
Democratic state Rep. Jamie Smith, Noem’s opponent in the November election, had supported the tax repeal and helped secure full state House approval of the idea, according to the AP.
He called Noem’s pledge “just another example of Gov. Noem trying to manipulate the voters of South Dakota by proposing a policy she clearly didn’t believe in and is doing it for her political gains at this moment.”
7 months ago, my colleagues and I proposed eliminating the sales tax on food and groceries. It would have saved each South Dakota family $468 a year on groceries.
But the bill was opposed by Governor Noem and killed in the Senate. Now she backs it to score political points. pic.twitter.com/kiKcYwAqkv
— Jamie Smith for SD Governor (@RepJamieSmith) September 28, 2022
However, Ian Fury, a spokesman for Noem’s campaign, said the governor had supported the concept but was concerned about its impact.
“She’s always in favor of cutting taxes if the numbers work,” Fury said.
South Dakota’s legislature returns in January and may consider the proposal then.
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