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Frye Dings District 34 Incumbents for Rejecting Sales Tax Cut; Kansas Repeals Food Tax

Right-wing Republican Jodie Frye is running for District 34 House in Rapid City. Facing a three-way primary for two spots against incumbent Reps. Mike Derby and Jess Olson, Frye fries her opponents for failing to act like Republicans and cut taxes:

“Both District 34 representatives passed up opportunities to bring tax relief to the citizens even though it was said that these are ‘good times for state government,'” she said. “If they won’t vote to lower your taxes even by a half cent, when will they?” [staff/press release, “Jodie Frye Announces Campaign for House District 34,” Rapid City Journal, 2022.04.29]

Frye is correct: Derby and Olson both voted nay on House Bill 1327, which would have undone the 2016 sales tax hike for teacher pay by lowering the state sales tax rate from 4.5% to 4.25% this July and then to 4.0% in July 2023. To pile on with Frye, Derby and Olson both voted against another tax reduction, Senate Bill 117, which would have cut the entire 4.5% sales tax on food.

Kansas legislators aren’t as stingy as Derby and Olson. Last week the Kansas Legislature, in which Republicans control both House and Senate, voted to repeal the state’s sales tax on groceries:

Soon after the vote, Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly announced she would sign the legislation, which was approved unanimously in the Senate on Wednesday and on an 114 to 3 vote in the House the next day.

…In 2025, Kansas will join 33 states in not taxing groceries, considered one of the most regressive taxes because lower income individuals put more of their earnings toward food than higher earners. The current 6.5% food tax is among the highest in the nation, especially when coupled with local sales taxes. The bill incrementally reduces the state sales tax rate on food:

Check that 33—other sources say 37 states exempt groceries from sales tax; Kansas would become #38. That would leave South Dakota in a minority of 12 states punishing the poor for eating, just as South Dakota is among a minority of 12 states that punish the poor for getting sick by refusing to expand Medicaid.

I’m not sure we can count on Frye to be a reliable ally of the poor, but if she will cut regressive taxes that her incumbent neighbors won’t, maybe working folks in District 34 should look at electing her. Of course, if working folks want Representatives guaranteed to look out for their well-being and not get distracted by non-kitchen-table issues like the culture war, they could just play it safe and vote for Jay Shultz and Darla Drew, who belong to the Democratic Party, which has been fighting to repeal South Dakota’s food tax all along.


  1. Jake 2022-05-01 10:27

    Interestingly, Cory, if it weren’t for being opposed by two fairly popular “Pubs” locally in her bid for election, I doubt very much if she EVER would have advocated such a position! Just not her nature to oppose popular ” ‘Pub’ ” policy of “Making sure that we get something back from those poor that we are giving $$$ out to all the time!” The GOP’s defiant stance against expanding Medicaid under the AFA in these 12 “hard RED” states is a strong ‘tell’ as to their perception of those less fortunate than themselves. Their lack of compassion and empathy seems to drive them to be fearful of anything short of throwing money toward the “movers and shakers” (in their opinions) that create wealth for themselves-not society.

  2. robbinsdale radical 2022-05-01 14:44

    I agree that like Frye#2 appears so desperate for attention she is adopting a reasonable compassionate Democratic plank. What is it with these families (Jensens, Fryes, Novstrups) trying to take over the state? Is this headed toward Noemistan?

  3. Cathy B 2022-05-01 16:52

    My info in January showed 13 states still taxing groceries, and 37 + DC not taxing them. Some other states allow local tax. Hooray for Kansas! There may yet be progress in 2022 on food tax cuts in one or more of the remaining 12. It’s a shame South Dakota missed the opportunity this year. The unfair grocery tax is certainly something to bring up with candidates for SD Legislature.

  4. Mark Anderson 2022-05-01 19:06

    They have to get their money somewhere without income tax. If you don’t have enough money for food, Republicans don’t care, never have, never will.

  5. grudznick 2022-05-01 19:18

    Here is the real fears that Mr. H doesn’t understand, yet exist for the fellows like Mr. Derby and his pals: Ms. Fry, the Mueller, is a twin.

    Yes, there are two and they are doppelgangers and vote in each other’s stead, and both are the dumbest and most insane of the bunches.
    They are both very pretty, no one can doubt that, but golly, do you people even pay attention? Here is a blue link that supports grudznick’s assertion.

  6. Kyle 2022-05-02 12:05

    Anyone who wants to avoid adding another nutty extreme fringe-right legislator in Pierre will definitely avoid voting for either of the Frye sisters.

  7. O 2022-05-03 08:24

    Cory, it is begging to feel like your advocacy is for defunding SD social programs because there funding source is regressive. There has never even been a whisper of a more fair source fo funds, so cuts in taxes will purely undermine the ability to fund education. The Grover Norquist “starve the beast” mentality is insidious, and I don’t see even the poor in SD coming out ahead when tax cuts get rolling — THAT was the Kansas experience.

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