Don’t get me wrong, I have always felt that a tax on (essential) food is immoral, idiotic and pretty much insensitive and unfair to the poor, and everybody for that matter. It’s kinda like health insurance. No one should be benefitting from essential goods and services to sustain life. But I also have the feeling that it will fail, again;

SIOUX FALLS, SD – You could be paying less at the grocery store if one South Dakota lawmaker has his way. For the second time in as many years Sioux Falls Representative Marc Feinstein plans to propose cutting the state tax on groceries. Feinstein says constituents have told him how difficult it can be to make ends meet.

And Marc’s idea has merit;

The major difference in this bill replaces the lost four percent grocery tax revenue by adding .35 percent to all other taxable goods.

But Marc, don’t you know that means the rich would have to pay more in taxes for all of their luxury items? Why not just continue to tax the shit out of the working poor who we fuck over on a daily basis in an almost non-existant worker rights state?

While I will give props to Marc for trying a different approach, business owner ran Pierre will have no part of it – off with their heads!

15 Thoughts on “Another ‘Crash & Burn’ food tax elimination proposal? Maybe we should have a barbie?

  1. Costner on January 17, 2011 at 12:57 am said:

    Oh so when someone suggests another abortion ban bill or talk about attempting to reverse the smoking ban, you say the people have spoken and essentially tell people to get over it, but when someone brings up the food tax year after year you seem to always support them.

    Thanks for clearing that up.

    Housing is pretty necessary too right? So we need to eliminate real estate taxes too then. Hey – you know what else is necessary… water. So we need to just provide tap water for free since a fee to have drinking water is essentially just a form of a tax and we can’t have that.

    Also, that pesky program that would allow low income people to receive a reimbursement for their food taxes is just so confusing… having to fill out a two page form and send it in and all. Can’t have that…. we just need to remove the entire tax on food and shift it elsewhere… like to toilet paper. Oh wait – toilet paper is somewhat essential. Let’s just raise taxes on things like deodorant and toothpaste because they aren’t really necessary. They are necessary if you want to not stink up a job interview… but upward mobility is so overrated, so lets just kill that food tax and call it a day shall we?

  2. They don’t use TP in the middle east.

    Funny how many other states, actually most states, have figured out taxing food is silly. I guess if South Dakotans were paying the same tax rate on motorcycles and RV’s I would understand your argument. It is clear the food tax is targeted at sticking it to the little guy while the big guy skirts taxes on the luxury stuff. Wanna keep the food tax? Fine, but tax everything else at the same rate.

  3. Pathloss on January 17, 2011 at 8:11 am said:

    Definitely, no tax on food. Fresh food is the only thing I must buy locally. Everything else I try to get tax and shipping free from the internet. It’s important for me that I don’t support unconstitutional city government. If I could direct all taxes to federal, state, and county only I’d buy everything locally.

  4. rufusx on January 17, 2011 at 8:38 am said:

    Hey Costner – aren’t you a less taxes/smaller government kinda guy? Do you realize that the whole “food tax rebate” program flies directly in the FACE of that whole notion. It means more taxes for everybody – PLUS adding extra FTEs (salray, benefits, office space, equipment, paper, etc.) at the D of Revenue to PROCESS those rebate requests. I’ll bet ya that the cost of running the whole rebate program is just as high as what the difference would be if the food tax were simply eliminated.

  5. rufusx on January 17, 2011 at 8:39 am said:

    @ Pathloss, how do you buy a tax-free plumber over the internet???

  6. Pathloss you owe the state Use Tax. Wonder if there is a bonus for me if I rat you out?

  7. Costner on January 17, 2011 at 6:05 pm said:

    @DL: Most other states have also “figured out” that an income tax is necessary. Go ahead and compare the states that don’t have a sales tax with those than DO have a state income tax.

    You cannot have it both ways. A lot of states don’t tax clothing either (which you can easily argue is also necessary) so I suppose that would be the next thing you guys would be complaining about. Keep pointing out taxes that you don’t think are fair until we have an income tax… I fail to see the benefit in the end.

    rufusx: “I’ll bet ya that the cost of running the whole rebate program is just as high as what the difference would be if the food tax were simply eliminated.”

    Are you fucking kidding me or do you just suck at math? The last time I saw the numbers there were less that 400 people who could be bothered to fill out the paperwork for the rebate which probaly takes one employee a whopping week to process.

    If you think it costs more to process it, then by all mens provide the number to back up such an idiotic statement. I think you will soon find it isn’t even close.

  8. “The last time I saw the numbers there were less that 400 people who could be bothered to fill out the paperwork for the rebate which probaly takes one employee a whopping week to process.”

    The exact point he was making. The rebate program is a joke. Let’s simplify it and just eliminate the food tax all together. In fact let’s eliminate ALL sales taxes and incorporate an income tax, and base it only on income, no dependents or write offs. The working poor would be paying very little, and the rich would be paying their fair share for once.

  9. For years I have thought that along with the tax on food, the tax on clothing should be eliminated too.

  10. Sales taxes are idiotic, they punish the consumer, and shield the rich.

  11. How about the RV’rs paying the same tax everyone else does?! They become SD residents so that they can pay cheaper license plate fees and then they live in some other state but yet they vote absentee in South Dakota. So they have a say in what happens in SD but will never live in the state. There are businesses that forward their mail for them. They don’t have to set foot in the state again but they get all the benefits.

  12. Helga, trust me, I see where you are coming from. SD needs to eliminate all taxes besides income.

  13. Costner on January 17, 2011 at 9:14 pm said:

    It is obvious why several of you would be totally unelectable if you were to even think about running for office.

    If we were to raise our income tax to a level which would replace all other taxes… nobody would ever move here, many of those that already live here would be headed elsewhere, and economic development would disappear.

    If you want an income tax there are plenty of other states you can relocate to which will offer you just that. However, every one of those states also has sales taxes. A few might not have sales taxes on food or clothing or some other quirky rules, but for the most part everyone has sales taxes.

    Why? Because if you eliminate sales taxes in our state, the border state residents would gladly shop here, but since they don’t pay income taxes to our state there wouldn’t be any revenue to fund government.

    There are plenty of other problems as well. Sales taxes are based upon consumption, so those who consume more (buy more stuff) pay more taxes. If someone wants to buy 400,000 worth of jewelry they are going to pay hefty sales taxes on that. In your plan they would pay zero… so guess where the wealthy people across our nation would make all their purchases? Congratulations – you are going to make some business owners very wealthy, but it won’t do jack shit for the working class you seem to think you would be helping because they generally don’t pay a significant amount of their income on sales taxes.

    You think removing sales taxes and applying an income tax will level the playing field, but I’m afraid it doesn’t work like that. The only new people moving into South Dakota at that point would be those who are retired and have no income… so they could live here with no sales tax and no real estate tax etc.

  14. “Sales taxes are based upon consumption, so those who consume more (buy more stuff) pay more taxes.”

    This assumption is flawed. 1) Many rich who claim residency here, are never here, they use their residency as a tax shelter and never spend any money in the state. 2) As I pointed out earlier, we pay a higher tax rate on food then on luxury items, so no, rich people are not paying more in taxes 3) Unlike the middle-class and the working poor (and very poor and even homeless) rich people don’t spend a majority of their income on consumption. If Joe-Six Pack makes $500 a week, he probably spends about $490 of it on goods and services. The rich take their extra money and put it in tax free investments and savings accounts. This ‘assumption’ that sales taxes are fair because rich people spend more is ludicrous.

  15. Costner on January 18, 2011 at 8:44 am said:

    If the “rich” just claim residency here but don’t live here, you are correct they aren’t paying sales taxes (except on motor vehicles, fees for license plates etc). However, if they don’t live here, they aren’t using any state services either, so I fail to see the problem.

    I hate to break it to you, but this myth about all of these “rich” RVers using South Dakota as a tax haven simply isn’t true. The number of people who actually do that is fairly small, and most of those people are far from rich… because if they had a residence in another state they would have to pay income tax in that state and/or real estate taxes in that state as well.

    Plus, if they spend the majority of their time in a state with an income tax, or in some states even a significant portion of their time, they have to pay income tax in that state. About the only people who really benefit from the lack of an income tax here are those of us who actually live here. RVers could benefit if they don’t actually want to own a house anywhere and they want to spend no more than a few weeks to a month in any given state before packing up and moving.

    In any case, as a percentage, those RVers make up what… less than 1% of our state population and use about .0000002% of our state services? Say it isn’t so!

    As to your consumption argument it sounds a lot like you simply want to play Robin Hood and redistribute wealth because the “rich” have more disposable income.

    That line of thinking sure has worked well with federal income taxes hasn’t it? Oh yea – the feds are doing a fabulous job in wealth redistribution… except for the fact that really wealthy keep their money off shore and in tax shelters, so their effective tax rates are probably less than you and I.

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