Food Sales Tax (Audio)
By Jenifer Jones
Democratic and Republican leaders say major bills are moving through both the House and Senate. One bill that passed the House Taxation Committee takes the sales tax off of food. House Minority Leader Bernie Hunhoff says it's an important issue for South Dakota.
"And you may not think that sounds like a big thing to a lot of people, but a four percent sales tax on food can amount to about two weeks of groceries for a working family or an elderly couple in South Dakota," Hunhoff says.
The House Appropriations Committee is taking a look how much of a tax increase will fall on other items as a result. House Majority Leader Bob Faehn says it's important that the revenue estimates are accurate.
"Because it might have an unintended consequence of having an even larger hit on our sales tax," Faehn says. "We're seeing sales tax revenue drop now. I can nearly guarantee you that the sales tax revenue from food has been consistent. It's everything else that's dropping off."
Senate Majority Leader David Knudson says the Governor's sales tax rebate program is a more targeted and fiscally responsible answer.
Member stations can download the audio file here, and here.