Food tax legislation killed in committee
The House Taxation committee discussed two measures dealing with the state sales tax on food. House Bill 1216 removes the food tax and increases sales tax on all other items by .35 percent. House Bill 1214 gradually reduces the sales tax but only during good economic times.
Proponents for both bills say the tax on food is regressive and current state food programs are not working. Matt Gassen with Feeding South Dakota says many are struggling to feed their families.
Gassen says, “Our pantries in Sioux Falls and Rapid City have experienced a 63 percent increase in referrals from 2008 to 2011 which means there were 10,350 more referrals to our pantries in 2011 than we saw in 2008.”
Gassen says removing the tax on food would go a long way to help those of all income levels in the state.
Opponents say removing the tax on food erodes the state’s tax base.
Both House Bill 1214 and 1216 were defeated by the House Taxation committee.
By Jackelyn Severin
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