MITCHELL, SD (KELO) — Governor Kristi Noem says supporting the general sales tax reduction passed by the legislature will be “tough” for her. Noem spoke at-length Wednesday about the sales tax for the first time since the main run of the legislative session ended. She says a decision on whether she’ll sign it into law will be coming “soon,” all the while not giving up on her grocery tax repeal.
Governor Kristi Noem held a signing ceremony at a Mitchell farm equipment store for a bill aimed at preventing frivolous lawsuits against farming operations. But Noem also spoke out about the $104-million general sales tax reduction approved last week by the legislature.
“These guys, just anybody who says it’s a tax cut, just isn’t telling the truth,” Noem said.
The bill lowers the overall sales tax from 4-point-five percent to 4-point-two percent. Lawmakers included a 4-year sunset clause as a hedge against a severe downturn in the economy. But Noem says she’ll have a difficult time supporting the measure unless it becomes a permanent tax cut.
“Pretty tough, Perry, to do that one. It’s a temporary tax holiday. Anybody else who calls that a cut is lying. Because not only in this bill do they have it sunsetted, they also repeal the Partridge Amendment, which the Partridge Amendment is a trigger that would have made it permanent when we start growing our revenue,” Noem said.
Noem is still holding out hope for her grocery sales tax repeal. She hopes lawmakers will take up the issue when they reconvene in Pierre later this month.
“These legislators have the opportunity to do anything on Veto Day, or during a special session, too,” Noem said.
Noem pledged to repeal the grocery tax during her re-election campaign. But that campaign pledge took a hit during the session by not garnering enough support among lawmakers.
Noem also pushed back at criticism from some lawmakers who said she should have been more of a presence at the capitol — advocating for the grocery tax repeal and other issues like paid family leave. Noem says she worked very well with the legislature this year.