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Republican Karr Wonders Why Noem Waited So Long to Promise Food Tax Cut; Schoenbeck Remains Opposed

Democrats aren’t the only ones razzing Governor Kristi Noem for seeking political points with a flip-flop promise to copy their plan—not to mention the initiative proposed by Dakotans for Health for the 2024 ballot—to repeal the state’s 4.5% sales tax on food. Republican Representative Chris Karr (R-11/Sioux Falls) agrees that repealing the food tax would be great but wonders why Noem fought this helpful tax cut when he backed it just seven months ago:

“It’s really frustrating that this could have happened sooner. It’s frustrating when we faced opposition during session with folks that are Republicans saying that it was irresponsible to provide that tax relief,” Karr said [Annie Todd, “‘A Desperate Political Stunt’: Lawmakers Slam Gov. Kristi Noem’s Proposed Tax Cuts on Food,” Sioux Falls Argus Leader, 2022.09.30].

And Senate boss Lee Schoenbeck (R-5/Lake Kampeska), who has publicly cast doubt on the veracity of Noem’s feeble claim that she actually privately supported the food tax repeal in February, is still a hard Nay on the policy itself:

Lee Schoenbeck (R-Watertown), the President Pro Tempore of the Senate, wrote in a text message he didn’t support the tax cut.

“When you consider the responsibilities the state has under the Constitution to fund K-12, a state workforce, and nursing homes and Medicaid, plus a new women’s and men’s prison, cutting state revenue would be irresponsible,” he wrote [Todd, 2022.09.30].

Interestingly, the radical rumpists who’ve been challenging both Schoenbeck and Noem are cheering Noem’s flip-flop:

Members of the South Dakota Freedom Caucus are applauding Governor Noem for her recent commitment to repeal the grocery food tax this week despite making comments earlier this year that she was concerned about making any tax cuts.

…“It’s a pleasant surprise,” said Freedom Caucus Chairman Rep. Aaron Aylward, “we’re happy to see the Governor have a change of heart to help some of our less fortunate families and children that are the most adversely affected by this type of taxation scheme” [South Dakota Freedom Caucus, press release, 2022.09.29].

Given the Freedom Caucus’s express of support, maybe Noem’s tax-cut promise is as much about shoring up her radical conservative base as it is about buying votes from voters with shorter attention spans who may not notice her flip-flop endorsement of a Democratic proposal she has resisted for most of her time in office.

As Rep. Karr says, if the Governor were really serious about helping families in need, she’d have recognized that need much earlier and supported the food tax repeal when legislators offered it to her. If that need is so great, she wouldn’t wait until after the election. She’d call a Special Session right now and put Schoenbeck on the spot while the issue is hot and while a lot of incumbents would feel awfully queasy about voting against a tax cut for every eating South Dakotan just a month before an election.


  1. LCJ 2022-09-30

    Ambulance chaser Pro Tempore of the Senate Lee Schoenbeck. Fixed it for you.

  2. John 2022-09-30

    Let’s not forget those waffling, spineless, wind-blown legislators who voted against the repeal of the grocery sales tax, before they were for it and a photo op with Lewandowski and Noem . . . . Duhamel, Fitzgerald . . .

  3. O 2022-09-30

    The Freedom Caucus is taking a page from the starve the beast strategy of the 80’s. Cut taxes, then turn around and cut the social welfare programs supported by those programs that were supported by those taxes. They rhetoric about “helping struggling families” or “helping children” is coming from the ilk who killed the free lunch programs and who once they get the leverage here of needing to balance the state budget will slash social welfare programs.

    Cutting the food tax is something that should happen — especially to support our poorer families; doing it without a supporting funding mechanism is an invitation put another social institution at risk. The SD budget is a zero-sum game as played now.

  4. grudznick 2022-09-30

    Mr. Karr is but a minion of the whackadoodles. They think up things and he voices them. He’s one of the top Haugaardites in the legislatures, and insaner than most.

  5. grudznick 2022-09-30

    Mr. O is righter-than-right. You cut that big of a piece out of the income, the pound of flesh to balance it out needs to come from somewhere. Can you guess where it might come from?

  6. LCJ 2022-09-30

    Weed tax would be a good start.

  7. Loren 2022-09-30

    Medicaid? Prisons? I thought Republicans paid for everything with tax cuts. Trickle-down, right? If you cut the grocery tax, people will eat better, thus have more energy to work harder, thus earning more, spending more on taxable items thus lifting the gov’t revenue. See, I told you it would work! ;-)

  8. grudznick 2022-09-30

    Governor Noem probably doesn’t want to foist new taxes on people, Mr. LCJ. I would bet you they cut benefits to some group of people.

  9. Anne Beal 2022-09-30

    so how much is coming in on internet sales since the Wayfair decision? how about revenues from marijuana sales?
    Maybe there is enough there to offset the loss of revenue if the tax on groceries is eliminated?

  10. jim 2022-09-30

    Believe Kristi Noem? If she wins reelection, she will say “Sorry folks, I tried but the legislature won’t do it.” She thinks this is a win-win. It gets votes in November without a real chance of passing come January.

  11. O 2022-09-30

    The economy of South Dakota is not the economy of the simple South Dakota of generations ago that many still pretend it to be. The health care industry, the financial industry, the modern scale of agriculture have very much changed the wealth distribution in this state. I’m not sure the revenue generation of the state budget reflect those realities.

    The sales tax on food will certainly degenerate into a spending cut debate; instead it ought to open a long-overdue discussion on revenue.

  12. Richard Schriever 2022-09-30

    Ms Beal is on the right track. Rec MJ taxes (pass that measure -> better eats) and Internet sales should offset.

  13. larry kurtz 2022-09-30

    Mrs. Beal is smart enough to know white people in South Dakota are too stupid to regulate a cannabis industry.

  14. Richard Schriever 2022-09-30

    PS – because much of my earnings this year occurred in IA and MN, I paid around $3000 in income taxes in those two states. I paid ZERO sales taxes on groceries while there. IF SD had an income tax and tax reciprocity agreements with its neighbors (as do IA, ND and MN) not only could SD collect from residents working within SD, but from those of us who earn MUCH MORE by working outside of this miserable little state. As it is, IA and MN get to keep what I paid them, and SD gets NOTHING from me as I buy my groceries elsewhere during the work season.

  15. Vi Kingman 2022-09-30

    Really Rep. Karr? You wonder why Noem supports now? It’s all politics. The race with Jamie is very tight and for Noem to do this proves that she’s in trouble. It she has a lead she would never do this.
    For Noem it’s all about the optics and nothing else.

  16. Marie 2022-09-30

    Will Gov. Noem eliminate SD’s regressive $100 million annual sales tax on food—as she makes 2022 campaign promises to “support families”?

    In 2022, SD voters would do well to remember that she did not support SD families facing Covid unemployment in 2020 and 2021.
    Gov. Noem proudly refused $300 federal Covid supplemental unemployment benefits—not once, but twice—spinning a self-serving “We don’t need them” yarn for her national political profile-raising speeches. SD families are poorer by millions of federal Covid supplemental unemployment dollars that neighboring governors accepted for their families.

    Gov. Noem’s 2022 campaign promise to eliminate $100 million of regressive food sales taxes—if passed—will not fill the self-serving hole she dug for South Dakotan’s by refusing millions more in generously provided federal Covid supplemental unemployment benefits in 2020 and 2021.

  17. HydroGuy 2022-09-30

    The image of Lucy pulling the football away as Charlie Brown falls on his a$$ instantaneously popped into my head when Farm Welfare Barbie floated this opportunistic, disingenuous proposal. Desperation is a stinky perfume, Kristi…

  18. Bob Newland 2022-09-30

    Ms. Noem appears to have an incontinent ideology

  19. All Mammal 2022-09-30

    Her word porn about tax cuts are just as silicon-injected as her put-ons about holding that special session to clear up the grey areas of those trigger laws that were enacted after SCOTUS’s verdict. She promised on national tv to clear up basic questions that BCB still debates the merits of. That reassurance was fake.

    Her lips and whatever leaves them are faker than a porn star’s enthusiasm. She scrapes the little people who help her off her corner-cockroach-squashing shoes after stepping on them. Even her smile was coached and forced on her tv spot after the buffalo roundup today. She couldn’t field the reporter’s questions the late Mr. Giago has been asking for years regarding the lack of Lakota participation in an activity where their horsemanship skills are far superior to the gov’s. She had to get her fake Native relations guy, Mr. Flute to face the inquiry.

    She’s fake. Her actions are true.

  20. Arlo Blundt 2022-09-30

    Senator Schoenbeck, the ad hoc leader of the Republican Party, is trying to reassert his policy leadership. Governor Noem is the titular and traditional Party leader but she seems to have lost control of the Party on the day she was elected Governor. She also seems to have lost control of her state campaign. She spent the summer focused solely on her national aspirations and has had trouble pivoting to the state campaign. Her advertising has done more to publicize her horse than her Governorship. She is dependent on out of state, hired guns, whose aim has been far astray of the issues South Dakotans consider important. Senator Schoenbeck is trying to clean up the mess and return the Party to orthodoxy.

  21. Dicta 2022-09-30

    I’ve never met such a nakedly ambitious, fake woman who has no value for truth and only those things which advance her political aspirations. She has no guiding principles.

  22. grudznick 2022-09-30

    Maybe this is one pretty little head-fake. Or maybe, this will cause Ms. Noem and Mr. Schoenbeck to go to war during the sessions, and Mr. Nesiba might finally get one of his law bills passed when everybody else is watching the main event.

  23. P. Aitch 2022-09-30

    The reason we all get to help college debt holders up from under water is because, as O pointed out, Republicans cut taxes and then groups like college students are saddled with overburdening debt.
    – Increase the taxes on grudznichts adult diapers. As full of “” as he is there should be adequate income generated. #grins

  24. leslie 2022-10-01

    Trolling LCJ sneak attack? Dislikes Lee and wants a marijuana tax?

    I left SD finally after arrival of a new grandchild in Colorado, in April after spending much of the winter helping an old friend and elder’s family on the rez w/newly diagnosed cancer care, so I sadly missed Tim Giago’s passing.

    Catching up I notice Rachel Maddow Show coverage Aug.17-19 about Noem’s Hillsdale connection. I echo Dicta’s deep concern about her lack of compassion and leadership morality. Jamie’s campaign needs every volunteers’ hand and the Democratic Party can create a turn about in SD politics. It took Lakota courage, incite and influence to engage Maddow’s national exposure when Rounds ran for the Senate amid the EB5 controversy he and SDGOP sidestepped.

    DFP is in good hands and largely its commenters don’t suffer fools, but the new and old trolls do their damage come election season. Gird your loins and “hoist them on their own petards”.

  25. leslie 2022-10-01

    Clear now Kristi doesn’t have a national political future, she needs to keep her job to get a jet.

    But her “bonkers” Trumpist party is a danger throughout the country. A recent candidate said:

    “Don’t tell me Joe Biden won 81 million votes—don’t insult my intelligence. I refuse to have it…the largest standing army in the world are American gun owners. We’ve got over a trillion rounds of ammo out there and that fact is the only reason we are a country right now.”

    I am surprised this is not a quote from a newly elected SD school board member! Or our flame-thrower governor. TRMS podcast @25:00 (8.19.22)

  26. ds 2022-10-01


  27. grudznick 2022-10-01

    Despite Ms. ds shouting rant about stuff that makes the eyes bleed so much I just quit paying attention after her claims about…I’ve forgotten already. Anyhow, despite Ms. ds shouting, would it be interesting for the rest of you fellows if Mr. H would produce, program it up if even Mr. Evans had to help, a blog polling device so we could pose questions? For instance:

    grudznick poses a multiple choice question:

    Who is smarter? Mr. Karr, or Mr. Schoenbeck.
    Very simple. Mr. H could program this up in 10 minutes. Or Mr. Evans could for sure.

  28. grudznick 2022-10-02

    The Opening Rant at this morning’s Conservatives with Common Sense breakfasting will discuss which of those fellows is smarter, and why. And then gravy taters.

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