SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — House Bill 1075 in the South Dakota state legislature would repeal the state’s sales tax on groceries; this follows a push last year from Gov. Kristi Noem during her reelection campaign to eliminate the tax. Lawmakers for years have sought to eliminate it to no avail. According to Noem’s office, the legislation would save citizens $102 million.
Ward Cline of Sioux Falls was doing some grocery shopping in central Sioux Falls on Tuesday. A repeal of the sales tax on groceries has his support.
“I think it’s going to help a lot of people in various income levels but surely for lesser income levels,” Cline said.
Right now groceries are subject to a 4.5% sales tax; HB 1075 would drop that to 0%. Alcohol, tobacco and cannabis products are all exempt from this proposed ban. “Prepared food” is exempt from the proposed repeal, too; this refers to items like sandwiches or to-go meals.
“Let’s do something that would help out the taxpayers of our state,” said Republican Rep. Mary Fitzgerald of the Spearfish area who is a prime sponsor of HB 1075. “We often hear that the legislators go to Pierre, and they don’t listen to their constituents and don’t do a lot of things that would affect them, and this is something that would benefit everyone in the state of South Dakota.”
Democratic Sen. Reynold Nesiba of Sioux Falls is a sponsor of HB 1075, too. He’s also behind two upcoming and nearly-identical bills that would reduce but not drop the sales tax on groceries.
“I do worry that it’s going to require a compromise to get through the state Senate, so I personally believe that we can afford to take off the full four-and-a-half cents,” Nesiba said. “But what we need to do is have a compromise.”
Should the full repeal become law, these other two bills would be obsolete.