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Venhuizen Not Stumping for Former Boss’s Food-Tax Repeal, Files Two Ed Bills

Rookie Representative Tony Venhuizen (R-13/Sioux Falls) served as one of Governor Kristi Noem’s chiefs of staff (before she finally gave up on South Dakota advisors and brought in a lawyer from Florida to be her closest whisperer). So a cynical observer might expect that Venhuizen would be a chief cheerleader for Noem’s policy proposals in the Legislature.

Ah, but Tony’s not shaking his pom-poms yet for Kristi’s food-tax repeal:

Venhuizen said he’s open to cutting the food sales tax, but noted there’s a broad number of tax relief discussions ongoing. Venhuizen and all the lawmakers on the appropriations committee heard economic outlooks from Bureau of Finance and Management commissioner Jim Terwilliger and state economist Derek Johnson.

“Our House caucus will be talking about that in the next couple of weeks to get an idea for where our members stand,” Venhuizen said. “We’ll be looking at her proposal and looking at our own fiscal staff’s analysis and making sure to understand what impact that would have” [Eric Mayer, “Rep. Venhuizen Learning Legislative Branch Role After Executive Branch Experience,” KELO-TV, 2023.01.10].

Representative Venhuizen isn’t leading the charge on the food-tax repeal, perhaps he wants to make sure there’s enough money in the budget for his first bill, House Bill 1055, which would increase the South Dakota Opportunity Scholarship from a four-year total of $6,500 to $7,500. (Hey, District 13: I thought you elected a conservative Republican, not some big-government liberal who wants to spend more money on education!)

Rep. Venhuizen has also proposed House Bill 1056, which would allow members of the state Board of Technical Education to serve three consecutive three-year terms instead of just two terms.

With two bills in the hopper, Rep. Venhuizen has two more bills than several other rookie legislators. Tony is a busy boy… but he’s not yet busy on his former boss’s behalf.

Related Reading: Noem may need to spend less time ordering big black limos for her Presidential campaign and more time recruiting Venhuizen and other loyal Republicans to get on board with her tax cut. Rep. Will Mortenson (R-24/Pierre) says he still doesn’t know if the food-tax repeal has the votes to pass.


  1. Mark Anderson 2023-01-13 07:34

    You know of course that a food tax is flat and nothing is flatter than a Republican.

  2. Richard Schriever 2023-01-13 09:05

    I’m thinking they all see the inevitability of the initiated measure passing. They also see that it would look better on their “conservative” resumes if it weren’t they themselves that made that decision. So, they won’t do anything with it.

  3. Loren 2023-01-13 09:49

    It’s really hard to believe that the food tax repeal might have been just a talking point to buy votes before an election, knowing there was little to no chance of it actually passing the legislature. I am stunned, I tell ya, stunned. ;-)

  4. Mark Anderson 2023-01-13 10:11

    Just wait, Donald Duck proposed an oxygen tax in The Golden Helmet. You’d have to wear a meter on your chest. Get charged different amounts for a sigh or a deep breath. He probably got the idea from all the helium he had to take to talk.

  5. larry kurtz 2023-01-13 17:52

    Mr. Venhuizen kinda has that Jim-Abnor-not-a-very-good-dancer-either vibe going, init?

  6. ABC 2023-01-14 05:13

    Republicans like the sales tax on food, all food everywhere, it’s part of their strategy of high taxes on those of us who eat and drink

    Replace them all! Not with Dumbocrats. Replace them with 4th and 5th party liberal Progressive people!

    If you can’t think of a Legislature with 0 Repiblicans on it, you don’t have any imagination! Democracy is when the Winning party constantly and always loses, until what we have is a 100% transformed State. Organic Lite, McCarthy Republicans? Dinosaurs waiting for the voters asteroid to wipe them out!

  7. ABC 2023-01-14 05:18

    High tax Republicans should be the slogan of every candidate who runs to remove all Republicans from the legislature. 90% can turn to 0%.

    44 years of high taxes from the ruling Party . Tine to change it. Democrats won’t. Progressives will!

    Previous post. Orban Light (Hungary), McCarthey Republicans

  8. ABC 2023-01-14 05:20

    Republicans are the dinosaurs. Voters are the asteroids.

  9. Arlo Blundt 2023-01-15 21:31

    Cutting the food tax is on life support, much less any notion to eliminate this regressive taxation. It will die of neglect by February 15.

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