SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — As inflation continues to drive food prices upwards, several South Dakota lawmakers are hoping to provide relief before the election.
Representative Phil Jensen (R-Rapid City) is calling for a special session on November 3 to discuss repealing South Dakota’s sales tax on food.
All three candidates in the South Dakota gubernatorial race say they support repealing the tax.
Governor Kristi Noem announced she would fight to repeal the tax if re-elected during a campaign appearance on September 28. It’s a change in her previous position on the issue. While Noem was in the South Dakota House of Representatives, she voted to kill several bills on the food sales tax.
Libertarian gubernatorial candidate Tracey Quint said a move to repeal this tax has been a long time coming.
“I support this and I’ve supported it for years,” Democratic candidate Jamie Smith told KELOLAND News. “We’ve brought this bill year-after-year-after-year in the legislature. My caucus has been a big supporter of this bill.”
Democrats in the legislature have long advocated for the repeal of the tax saying that it would benefit South Dakotans. During the 2022 legislative session, a bill to repeal the tax introduced by Lee Schoenbeck (R-Watertown) passed through the House of Representatives and received bi-partisan support before failing in the Senate.
Now, Jensen is joined by eight other Republican lawmakers are hoping to address the issue ahead of the 2023 legislative session.
“The hard-working citizens of South Dakota have experienced a significant increase in the cost of groceries over the last year, seriously impacting their ability to provide for their families, and it’s time our citizens are able to keep more of their hard-earned money,” Jensen said in a statement. “South Dakota is in a great financial position but we need to remember that it’s not the role of government to hold onto the peoples’ money, but rather to provide them with the necessities of a limited government.”
Jensen was joined by Tom Pischke (R-Dist. 25), Senator Julie Frye-Mueller (R-Dist. 30), Representatives Phil Jensen (R-Dist. 33), Taffy Howard (R-Dist. 33), Tony Randolph (R-Dist. 35), Kevin Jensen (R-Dist. 16) Steve Haugaard (R-Dist. 10) and Aaron Aylward (R-Dist. 6).