Noem: No special legislative session for food tax repeal

Oct 11, 2022, 10:32 PM | Updated: Oct 12, 2022, 12:37 pm

South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem works the checkout counter at a grocery store in Sioux Falls, S.D., o...

South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem works the checkout counter at a grocery store in Sioux Falls, S.D., on Wednesday, Oct. 12, 2022, to promote her campaign proposal to repeal the state's tax on groceries. The Republican governor said she will not call a special legislative session ahead of the November election to push lawmakers to repeal the tax, despite calls from a handful of Republican lawmakers as well as her Democratic challenger. (AP Photo/Stephen Groves)

(AP Photo/Stephen Groves)

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem said Wednesday she would not call a special legislative session to have lawmakers consider repealing the state’s tax on groceries ahead of the November election, despite calls to do so from a handful of Republican lawmakers as well as her Democratic challenger.

The Republican governor, speaking at a news event at a Sioux Falls grocery store, acknowledged her campaign proposal does not currently have the votes necessary for passage in the state Senate. She will have to win over lawmakers when they are scheduled to reconvene in January.

Repeal of the state tax on groceries, which would cost the state about $100 million in annual revenue, has become a central issue in her reelection bid against her Democratic opponent, Rep. Jamie Smith.

Noem publicly opposed the repeal in March this year, but changed course last month to promise that she would convince the Legislature to cut the tax if re-elected. Smith supported the repeal several times during his six years in the state House.

“I don’t want to put us in a situation where this bill fails,” Noem said. The governor added that she would work to convince senators that she has expanded South Dakota’s economy to a point that state government would not miss the $100 million in revenue.

The state has put a record amount of money in budget reserves under Noem’s leadership. But South Dakota’s economic growth has recently lagged behind the rest of the country. Last year, it had the 15th lowest growth in gross domestic product — the broadest measure of economic output — among states.

Smith held a news conference Wednesday just a half hour before Noem’s event to push the governor to call the Legislature back to Pierre. The Legislature can convene either by order of the governor or with two-thirds support from both of its chambers.

“It’s an unethical tax for hardworking families because they all need food, especially during times of economic crisis,” Smith said of the 4.5% tax levied on food purchases.

He accused Noem of changing course on repeal for “political convenience” and said the sooner the tax is repealed, the sooner it can save people money at the grocery checkout. Smith said there is little assurance that the governor will fulfill her repeal pledge, let alone serve the entirety of her four-year term.

Noem has made moves to position herself as a White House contender in 2024. But on Wednesday, she pledged she would complete her second four-year term as governor.

“Absolutely that’s what I want to do,” she said. “Stay home here in South Dakota.”

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Water spills over the Bonneville Dam on the Columbia River, which runs along the Washington and Ore...

Associated Press

Biden deal with tribes promises $200M for Columbia River salmon reintroduction

The Biden administration has pledged over $200 million toward reintroducing salmon in the Upper Columbia River Basin in an agreement with tribes that includes a stay on litigation for 20 years.

20 hours ago

FILE - Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., arrives for a vote on Capitol Hill, Sept. 6, 2023 in Washington. ...

Associated Press

Sen. Menendez, wife indicted on bribe charges as probe finds $100,000 in gold bars, prosecutors say

U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez of New Jersey and his wife have been indicted on charges of bribery.

23 hours ago

A man holds an iPhone next to an Amazon Echo, center, and a Google Home, right, in New York on June...

Associated Press

Amazon unveils a ‘smarter and more conversational’ Alexa amid AI race among tech companies

Amazon has unveiled a slew of gadgets and an update to its popular voice assistant Alexa, infusing it with more generative AI features to better compete with other tech companies who’ve rolled out flashy chatbots.

1 day ago


David Bauder, The Associated Press

Rupert Murdoch, whose creation of Fox News made him a force in American politics, is stepping down

Murdoch inherited a newspaper in Adelaide, Australia, from his father in 1952 and eventually built a news and entertainment enterprise.

2 days ago

FILE - United Auto Workers members walk a picket line during a strike at the Ford Motor Company Mic...

Associated Press

United Auto Workers threaten to expand targeted strike if there is no substantive progress by Friday

The United Auto Workers union is stepping up pressure on Detroit’s Big Three by threatening to expand its strike unless it sees major progress in contract negotiations by Friday.

3 days ago

FILE - The Amazon Prime logo appears on the side of a delivery van as it departs an Amazon Warehous...

Associated Press

Amazon plans to hire 250,000 workers for holiday season

Amazon said on Tuesday that it will hire 250,000 full- and part-time workers for the holiday season, a 67% jump compared to last year.

4 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Swedish Cyberknife...

September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

September is a busy month on the sports calendar and also holds a very special designation: Prostate Cancer Awareness Month.

Ziply Fiber...

Dan Miller

The truth about Gigs, Gs and other internet marketing jargon

If you’re confused by internet technologies and marketing jargon, you’re not alone. Here's how you can make an informed decision.

Education families...

Education that meets the needs of students, families

Washington Virtual Academies (WAVA) is a program of Omak School District that is a full-time online public school for students in grades K-12.

Emergency preparedness...

Emergency planning for the worst-case scenario

What would you do if you woke up in the middle of the night and heard an intruder in your kitchen? West Coast Armory North can help.

Innovative Education...

The Power of an Innovative Education

Parents and students in Washington state have the power to reimagine the K-12 educational experience through Insight School of Washington.

Medicare fraud...

If you’re on Medicare, you can help stop fraud!

Fraud costs Medicare an estimated $60 billion each year and ultimately raises the cost of health care for everyone.

Noem: No special legislative session for food tax repeal