Noem: No special legislative session for food tax repeal

Oct 12, 2022, 10:32 AM | Updated: 12:36 pm
South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem works the checkout counter at a grocery store in Sioux Falls, S.D., o...

South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem works the checkout counter at a grocery store in Sioux Falls, S.D., on Wednesday, Oct. 12, 2022, to promote her campaign proposal to repeal the state's tax on groceries. The Republican governor said she will not call a special legislative session ahead of the November election to push lawmakers to repeal the tax, despite calls from a handful of Republican lawmakers as well as her Democratic challenger. (AP Photo/Stephen Groves)

(AP Photo/Stephen Groves)

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem said Wednesday she would not call a special legislative session to have lawmakers consider repealing the state’s tax on groceries ahead of the November election, despite calls to do so from a handful of Republican lawmakers as well as her Democratic challenger.

The Republican governor, speaking at a news event at a Sioux Falls grocery store, acknowledged her campaign proposal does not currently have the votes necessary for passage in the state Senate. She will have to win over lawmakers when they are scheduled to reconvene in January.

Repeal of the state tax on groceries, which would cost the state about $100 million in annual revenue, has become a central issue in her reelection bid against her Democratic opponent, Rep. Jamie Smith.

Noem publicly opposed the repeal in March this year, but changed course last month to promise that she would convince the Legislature to cut the tax if re-elected. Smith supported the repeal several times during his six years in the state House.

“I don’t want to put us in a situation where this bill fails,” Noem said. The governor added that she would work to convince senators that she has expanded South Dakota’s economy to a point that state government would not miss the $100 million in revenue.

The state has put a record amount of money in budget reserves under Noem’s leadership. But South Dakota’s economic growth has recently lagged behind the rest of the country. Last year, it had the 15th lowest growth in gross domestic product — the broadest measure of economic output — among states.

Smith held a news conference Wednesday just a half hour before Noem’s event to push the governor to call the Legislature back to Pierre. The Legislature can convene either by order of the governor or with two-thirds support from both of its chambers.

“It’s an unethical tax for hardworking families because they all need food, especially during times of economic crisis,” Smith said of the 4.5% tax levied on food purchases.

He accused Noem of changing course on repeal for “political convenience” and said the sooner the tax is repealed, the sooner it can save people money at the grocery checkout. Smith said there is little assurance that the governor will fulfill her repeal pledge, let alone serve the entirety of her four-year term.

Noem has made moves to position herself as a White House contender in 2024. But on Wednesday, she pledged she would complete her second four-year term as governor.

“Absolutely that’s what I want to do,” she said. “Stay home here in South Dakota.”

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


FILE - A flu vaccine is readied at the L.A. Care and Blue Shield of California Promise Health Plans...
Associated Press

Flu season worsens as 44 states report high activity

NEW YORK (AP) — The U.S. flu season keeps getting worse. Health officials said Friday that 7.5% of outpatient medical visits last week were due to flu-like illnesses. That’s as high as the peak of the 2017-18 flu season and higher than any season since. The annual winter flu season usually doesn’t get going until […]
20 hours ago
Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin introduces the B-21 Raider stealth at Northrop Grumman Friday, De...
Associated Press

Keep COVID military vaccine mandate, defense chief says

ABOARD A U.S. MILITARY AIRCRAFT (AP) — Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said he wants to keep the military’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate in place to protect the health of the troops, as Republican governors and lawmakers press to rescind it. This past week more than 20 Republican governors sent a letter to President Joe Biden asking […]
20 hours ago
Associated Press

Family says coyote attacked toddler outside LA home

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A coyote ambushed and injured a 2-year old girl outside her Los Angeles home in a daytime attack before her father chased the animal off, her family said. Home security video obtained by KTLA-TV shows the animal grab and drag the toddler across her lawn and sidewalk, just seconds after her […]
20 hours ago
FILE -  Rep. Jim Kolbe, R-Ariz, speaks during a press conference at the American University of Beir...
Associated Press

Longtime Arizona GOP Rep. Jim Kolbe dies at 80

PHOENIX (AP) — Jim Kolbe, a Republican congressman who represented a heavily Democratic region of Arizona for more than two decades and was a proponent of gay rights, has died. He was 80. Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey said in a statement that Kolbe died Saturday. Ducey ordered flags lowered until sunset Sunday. Kolbe served in […]
20 hours ago
Associated Press

Fan buying famed ‘Goonies’ house in Oregon, listed for $1.7M

ASTORIA, Ore. (AP) — The listing agent for the Victorian home featured in the “The Goonies” film in Astoria, Oregon, said this week the likely new owner is a fan of the classic coming-of-age movie about friendships and treasure hunting, and he promises to preserve and protect the landmark. The 1896 home with sweeping views […]
20 hours ago
New Los Angeles County Sheriff Robert Luna is sworn in by the Honorable Samantha Jersey, Presiding ...
Associated Press

New LA sheriff vows accountability, integrity for department

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The new head of the nation’s largest sheriff’s department vowed Saturday to usher in an era of integrity and collaboration after his predecessor’s tenure was marked by clashes with other public officials and allegations that ganglike groups of deputies ran amok within the agency. Robert Luna took an oath of office […]
20 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Quantum Fiber

How high-speed fiber internet can improve everyday life

Quantum Fiber supplies unlimited data with speeds up to 940 mbps, enough to share 4K videos with coworkers 20 times faster than a cable.
Children’s Cancer Network

Children’s Cancer Network celebrates cancer-fighting superheroes, raises funds during September’s Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

Jace Hyduchak was like most other kids in his kindergarten class: He loved to play basketball, dress up like his favorite superheroes and jump as high as his pint-sized body would take him on his backyard trampoline.

Key dates for Arizona sports fans to look forward to this fall

Fall brings new beginnings in different ways for Arizona’s professional sports teams like the Cardinals and Coyotes.
Noem: No special legislative session for food tax repeal