Food prices are up. The economy is down. Increasingly, South Dakota families feel the pinch when grocery dollars go for TAX instead of food.


• Ends the WHOLE cruel food tax

• Has bi-partisan leadership (Senator Merchant & Representative Cutler)

• Shifts taxes to fully maintain state, city and tribal revenues formerly raised by taxing food. (The revenue is replaced simply by tax shifting, 1/2% more tax to all non-food sales.  Check below to see how this fairer method works.)

• Wisely provides a revenue cushion in case non-food sales slump with the economy. (The cushion is provided by leaving the tax on pop and candy.)

•  Saves state dollars by ending a current state program — The food tax refund program will no longer be needed. It never did reach enough people.

An email from Bread for the world;


The food tax refund system does not meet the need. The Governor’s proposal to drop it does makes sense, in large part because a better alternative is so available.

The refund program returns to taxpayers only about 3.8 percent of the total food tax, and you know there is more need than that.

(You can find more info about the refund program at  Some items on that website have not been updated lately, but some have.)


Grocery prices are rising, and times are tough. The state legislature could help. Rather than a refund system that leaves out most low income families in the state, South Dakota could end this unfair tax, as most other states have done.


Legislators are putting in bills this week. We hope and assume there will be a bill to end the food tax. It is needed now more than ever. 


When you visit with state legislators (via phone, email, letter, or in person), you can advise them that South Dakota should stop taxing groceries altogether.


A good option is available: The whole food tax could be ended once and for all by adding ½% to non-food sales. This tax shift would cost the state nothing, AND the cities and tribes could be fully reimbursed. Thus, NO public money would be lost. 

What about families? This tax shift would help middle- and low-income families. It would move the sales tax burden slightly up the income scale. 


“No other tax so directly takes food off people’s tables.” -Matt Gassen, director of Community Food Banks of SD

If they could save the tax on $100 food, a family could buy 2 gallons of milk. Think of the impact in a family with teenagers!