Food tax should be cut

Edgar's picture

By Cathy Brechtelsbauer
S.D. Coordinator for
Bread for the World

For 14 years most South Dakotans have been paying higher tax on their groceries in order to make it possible for South Dakota to win its tax case in the Supreme Court.

How did this happen? The preparation for the state to collect sales tax on online sales caused a significant hike in the food tax. It did not cause a tax increase on anything else, only food.

Before 2003, South Dakota cities had been limited to 1% tax on food. Then, tax “streamlining” rules were needed in order to position the state to tax online sales. The new rules said each city may have only one sales tax rate, even though the rules allowed the state itself to have a lower rate on food, even zero tax.


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