Over the last couple months, I’ve checked out groceries at stores in communities across South Dakota. One out of every four or five customers had to put something back because of how much it cost. They were shocked at how much their grocery bill has gone up. And it isn’t getting better. South Dakotans need relief – and we can give it to them by eliminating the sales tax on groceries.
Prices are rising far too rapidly on everyday food items like milk, ground beef, eggs, and other groceries. Eggs alone have increased to over 140% of what they were in January 2021. Even with South Dakota having the best personal income growth, family budgets are not keeping up.
When you elected me to serve a second term as Governor, you tasked me with continuing to fulfill the duty of proposing a budget for our state. I recently announced my budget for the next year, and South Dakota has $310 million in permanent revenue growth because of our strong economy.
This means we can afford to eliminate the sales tax on groceries. It is a $102 million tax cut for the people of South Dakota – meaning we still have $208 million in permanent new revenue even after we deliver this tax cut to the people. The people of South Dakota overwhelmingly want this tax cut, and they know we can afford it.
Gas prices continue to increase because of President Biden’s energy policies. New regulations and taxes, a lack of utilization of American energy sources, and a dwindling reserve indicate this trend will continue.
Every South Dakotan is paying more for food, gas, and to heat and cool their homes – including those who can afford it least, like senior citizens, working parents, and single moms. Their family finances are struggling under the strain.
Remember – our revenues are strong because we have grown our economy. It is the strongest in the nation. People have moved their families, their jobs, and their businesses to South Dakota. Our new housing developments are here to stay. New industries are thriving. The jobs of the future are right here in South Dakota. We have the fastest growing incomes in America – and we can grow incomes even more by letting people keep more of their own hard-earned money in their pockets.
This growth is sustainable. And there won’t be a better opportunity in the future. My team and I are fully confident that this is the right tax cut at the right time. I look forward to working with the legislature to get it done.