Sioux Falls — Republicans in Pierre killed a tax reform bill today that would remove the sales tax on food, arguing that cheaper food would add to the state’s obesity problem.
Rep. Marc Feinstein of Sioux introduced the bill, explaining that South Dakota’s families would be able to pay for up to two more weeks of groceries from these savings. The bill would be revenue neutral with the savings to families offset by a half cent increase in the sales tax.
The bill died on a party-line vote with Democrats voting in favor and Republicans opposing the reform. Parliamentary tricks by Republican leaders stopped this bill from reaching the floor last year even after the committee passed it.
Chairman of the South Dakota Democratic Party Ben Nesselhuf responded: “Reasonable parties can agree to disagree on this issue. But to suggest that keeping the price of basic necessities like food artificially high serves the interests of South Dakota’s residents insults the intelligence and personal choices of all South Dakotans.
“The Republican message on this is simple: taxing your food is for your own good. This is government encroachment on our personal lives, and it represents the most disingenuous of Republican arguments.”