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Food Tax Rate Cut Considered

January 31, 2012, 5:01 PM by Peggy Moyer

Food Tax Rate Cut Considered
SIOUX FALLS, SD - South Dakota lawmakers are looking at saving you some money when it comes to your food bill.

Every item you scan at the grocery store could cost you a half a percent less if House Bill 1214 would become law.

Right now, all South Dakotans pay four percent in state sales tax on groceries. However, we don't see that number at the end of our receipt because we also pay a city sales tax on top of that.

Sioux Falls, as an example, has a two percent sales tax on groceries. So when you add that to the four percent we pay to the state, our total sales tax paid and listed at the end of our receipt shows a total rate of six percent in the check-out lanes.

The mere mention of paying lower taxes at the grocery store has shoppers thinking about their personal pocketbooks.

"That would be fine because that's about the only thing we old people are concerned about is that we can eat and, of course, have a roof over our head," Sioux Falls resident Adeline Dockter said.

"It's a basic commodity and we're buying it all the time. Tell them to go ahead and get it passed," Sioux Falls resident Harlan Vearrier said.

"Senior citizens live on a fixed income and it would help us a lot probably," Sioux Falls resident Leona Dumdei said.

A large majority of the people we talked to said they would be in favor of a lower tax; however, it wasn't unanimous.

"I think the tax ought to be left where it is. South Dakota needs the money. Sioux Falls needs the money," Sioux Falls resident Michael Schweitzer said.

Even if House Bill 1214 gets the governor's signature and goes into effect, the state would need to see a six percent bump in sales and use tax revenue the fiscal year before.

The bill is currently in the House Taxation Committee.  It would need to pass both chambers and be signed by the governor before it could be put in place.

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