Press "Enter" to skip to content

Noem Budgets Food Tax Repeal, Medicaid Expansion, 5% Boosts with $310M in New Ongoing Revenue

Governor Kristi Noem is sticking with her campaign flip-flop to finally implement the Democratic plan to exempt food from the state sales tax. In yesterday’s budget address, Governor Noem promised to repeal the food tax… and after telling Republicans last month to spend less time bashing Joe Biden, she made sure she phrased her tax cut in terms of bashing Joe Biden:

“Eliminating the sales tax on groceries is the biggest way in my budget that we can help South Dakotans tackle the challenge of Joe Biden’s inflation and protect their hard-earned money. Unfortunately, food costs have risen by far too much. Families are struggling to make ends meet as a result of that,” Noem said.

Noem says the state has $310 million in permanent revenue growth, which would make up for the lost grocery tax.

“We still, even after this tax cut, will have $208 million that will be available to us to meet the needs that the state government is responsible for. We have been exceeding estimates by about $25 million per month. The people of South Dakota overwhelmingly want this tax cut, and they know that we can afford it,” Noem said [Carter Schmidt, “Noem’s Budget Address Key Points and Reaction from Lawmakers,” KELO-TV, 2022.12.06].

Reminder: President Biden didn’t cause inflation. Coronavirus, supply-chain disruptions, Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, and the fact that y’all keep wanting to buy lots of stuff cause inflation. And Noem’s budget assumes that the President or the invisible hand or something will ease inflation back to 5%.

But the big news is that Kristi Noem is still saying she’ll do what she told voters she would do and finally catch up with Minnesota and most of the rest of the nation in recognizing that we ought not tax peanut butter sandwiches and baby food.

Noem’s math above indicates she thinks exempting food from sales tax will reduce sales tax revenues by $102 million. In October, the Legislative Research Council said cutting the food tax will cost $119.1 million. But we can eat either figure, says Governor Noem, because we’re bringing in $310 million in new tax revenue from more economic activity. Take away the LRC estimate, and we have $191 million in new money to spend. That’s more than enough to pay for voter-approved Medicaid expansion, whether at the LRC’s estimated $33.2 million per year or Noem’s radically inflated and false claim of $80 million per year. Take the upper-bound estimates on each major policy initiative, and Noem’s revenue projections leave $111 million in new money for new programs, or maybe just increases for education, state employees, and healthcare providers to keep up with inflation. Noem proposes 5% increases for those areas, totaling just about $91 million.

Noem says this $310 million in ongoing magic money is actually a conservative estimate and includes her (partisan, Biden-bashing) assumption that a recession is coming. But $310 million in ongoing mad money sounds awfully liberal to me—not that I’m complaining! If we have the money to cover a food tax repeal, Medicaid expansion, and more funding for education, health care, and the talented workers who plow our roads and tend our parks, I’m all for it!


  1. Nick Nemec 2022-12-07 06:57

    We’ll see if she uses any of her accumulated power to arm twist legislators into supporting the repeal.

  2. John 2022-12-07 07:35

    South Dakota needs a law barring towns from collecting sales tax on food. Under these pretend low tax republicans we pay sales tax of 7.5% . . . the same as Minnesota, but without the benefits of state services to the level provided by Minnesota. The 7.5% sales tax rate puts South Dakota among the 18 states with the highest state & local sales tax rates. South Dakota’s rightful place ought to be 49th (just saying).

  3. P. Aitch 2022-12-07 08:20

    Republicans just need to bash Biden. But after Trump any criticism is like water off a duck’s back. History will be kind to Joe Steady. Trump’s legacy is still up in the air.

  4. flopster 2022-12-07 08:37

    What will she care if SDAK can’t afford Medicaid & no food tax in a (few years)…she’ll be flying HIGH w/ the big wigs in DC (again)…not her problem.
    All the better now to prop up herself for what SHE does for the state.
    You can see thru her like a window. What a twit.
    The bashing of the President so crass and tactless in the address.

  5. Donald Pay 2022-12-07 09:03

    Sales and use taxes, of course, tax inflation. When prices on taxable items go up, so does the sales and use tax paid by buyers. So, whether Noem wants to admit it or not, inflation helps South Dakota’s revenue stream. But it’s somewhat illusory because what comes in goes out in inflated expenses.

    One thing that bothers me about her statement is this phrase “…my budget….” It’s kind of like when Queen Elizabeth would be handed a proposal by one of the Prime Ministers and she would give a speech, saying “My government will do this, that and the other thing.” I don’t know why Noem thinks that she is the Queen, but she is probably correct about her role in the budget process. It’s not her budget. It’s a proposed budget handed to her after months of work by Department heads and other folks. Some Governors are more involved in the process than others. With Noem’s constant gallivanting with Lewandowski, it is unlikely she had much input into the nuts and bolts of the budget.

  6. All Mammal 2022-12-07 10:27

    Like I have say before, and I’ll say it again. The FCC, some airwave authority, needs to start cracking down and fining anyone proven to spit misinformation and bold-faced lies on the air. It is going to ruin America. Our governor spat lie after lie after lie yesterday. Her lies can be proven lies. For example, she said I don’t know how many times South Dakota was number one in the nation. Number one economy, job growth, employment, lowest taxes, most industry, most productive, most freedom, on and on. Yeah, because of the Federal Welfare we received! We can prove those are lies. And she is so dumb when she lowdogs federal government over the past two decades because guess what, SHE WAS the federal government at that exact same timeframe! Jesus, Mary, Kaci, and Jo-Jo. How foolish.

    Nobody should be able to misinform the American body and do it on our airwaves without paying the price. If a rap artist gets fined or a football player is fined thousands of US dollars by the FCC for expressing themselves, liars should be fined for the harm they cause. I can’t help but ascertain it as a race thing. But, hey; I know I’m extreme. But the governor lies like a bed wetter. She is so full of b.s, I had to put on chest waders to trudge through her dis informative speech. She looked like a puss in boots, strutting like a rooster up there with her hair extension weave. Get real.

  7. Jake 2022-12-07 10:30

    She spends so much time preening in front of Fox News in her basement studio or relaxing in her sauna (when not gallivanting around the nation with the Lew-collecting $$$ for her piggy-bank!) she doesn’t find enough time left to really study the needs of the people that put her back into office-let alone those who voted against her. Biting the hand that fed her (Joe Biden with his Democratic congress Rescue Plans and $$$) is fun when you are yelling these insulting remarks to those who”hate socialism” but are always first in line at the hog trough of government handouts……

  8. O 2022-12-07 10:36

    When there is political will to do something, the money seems to appear; when the political will does not exist, the money seems to dry up in that moment as well. A cynical person could wonder which drives which.

  9. Jake 2022-12-07 17:17

    If this upcoming legislature is short of money, looking for some other source of income, why don’t they put a state tax on ALL advertising! No realistic reason why not, as everybody agrees the political ads Noem used to tell lies about President Biden and her competitor for governor were false, but untaxed and we all had to suffer thru months of their bombardments on us. And those lusting for power in Pierre spent millions of untaxed $$$ to gain their slots in Pierre so they could maybe put ‘oil crosses’ on our capitol committee room chairs!
    The Supreme Court conservatives look upon ‘money’ as “free speech” so let’s tax that sh#t!

  10. grudznick 2022-12-07 18:19

    You just watch. grudznick predicts the teachers and the healthcares and for sure those government employees will start screaming for more, more more. Especially the teachers union led by Mr. Pogany. They all should consider themselves lucky they live high on the hog and are getting anything at all.

  11. Mark Anderson 2022-12-07 19:26

    Grudz, why don’t you start a breakfast union. Competition is the American way.

  12. John 2022-12-07 20:25

    It appears Noem’s tourism department is missing a HUGE opportunity in 2023 – the 200th Anniversary of the Hugh Glass mauling and crawl (August 24).
    Imagine the excitement of South Dakota grizzly bear wrestling, the breath-taking 200-mile crawling races from Shadehill to the reconstructed site of Fort Kiowa (between Big Bend and Chamberlain). Tourism could host viewings of the feature films: Man in the Wilderness (1971) and The Reverant (2015). Tourism could tell a true story of the “frontier” – leave your buddy, take care of yourself.

  13. grudznick 2022-12-07 20:26

    Breakfast is a time when every man stands alone. Lunch and Dinner you can work as a team, share your appetizers with others at your table, even purchase a bottle of wine for communal consumption, or do the fondue like libbies do. Breakfast is when you beat that buffet tray of bacon like a government mule, you take the best of the hash browns right out of the middle of the bucket and slather it with the last of the gravy that didn’t have the skin on it. At breakfast, it’s every man for himself.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.