Food Tax Bill Proponents
By Jenifer Jones
The state House Taxation Committee killed a bill that lowers state sales and use tax on food and raises the rate on other items. The committee voted 11 to four to send the bill to the 41st legislative day. Opponents say that there are already programs in place to help families put food on the table. But proponents like Representative Bernie Hunhoff say current programs aren't reaching everyone, and getting rid of the state tax on food is good public policy.
"It's not for the people in food pantries, it's for the people who are working in the factories and rushing home to take care of a couple of kids," Hunhoff says. "It's for the elderly people's who have to decide between medical care, prescription drugs, or groceries. This is two weeks of groceries for a family. That's no small thing. Two weeks of groceries for a family. It's a big deal. And nobody is suggesting that it solves the problem, but it puts two weeks of groceries on the table."
Opponents say since the measure raises taxes on non-food items, it could actually hurt South Dakotans in the long run because they may end up paying more for things like utilities.
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