Rick Weiland and his ballot question committee, Dakotans for Health, hasn’t even begun circulating its initiative petition to repeal South Dakota’s unusual and immoral sales tax on food, but the prospect of that initiative is already stirring Legislative action. Yesterday Senate Taxation attached a two-year sunset clause to House Bill 1137, Representative Chris Karr’s (R-11/Sioux Falls) proposal to reduce the state sales tax rate from 4.5% to 4.2%, because Republican leaders worry voters will approve the food-tax repeal in 2024:
The amendment to HB-1137 would cause the tax cut to automatically expire June 30, 2025, and return to the 4.5% rate.
Republican Sen. Joshua Klumb said the amendment was a precaution. An initiated measure calling for grocery purchases to be exempt from the state sales tax could make the 2024 election ballot. Lawmakers don’t know whether the state government treasury can afford both tax cuts.
The tax panel’s chair, Republican Sen. Jim Stalzer, said Senate Republican leadership asked him to bring the amendment [Bob Mercer, “Two-Year ‘Sunset’ Attached to Karr’s Tax-Cut Proposal,” KELO-TV, 2023.02.27].
Funny: Republican legislators appear to have more confidence in Rick Weiland’s ability to pass a food tax than they do in Governor Kristi Noem.