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Group seeks to put grocery sales tax question to voters

There is another political effort in the works aiming to cut sales tax on groceries in South Dakota.

The attorney general’s office released explanations Monday on two ballot questions prohibiting tax on food.

One is a constitutional amendment, the other is an initiated measure. Both were submitted by Rick Weiland of “Dakotans for Health.” That’s an advocacy group behind a proposal to expand Medicaid on the 2022 South Dakota ballot.

The group needs to collect thousands of signatures to get either proposal on the 2024 ballot.

Eliminating sales tax on groceries has been a driving topic of the 2022 gubernatorial race. Both Republican incumbent Kristi Noem and Democrat Jamie Smith have pledged to cut the tax.

The proposed ballot questions appear to take removing the tax one step further, though. According to the attorney general's explanation, both proposals would prohibit municipalities, including city and county governments, from collecting sales tax on food.

Taxing alcohol and prepared food would still be legal under either ballot question.

Josh Chilson is the news director at South Dakota Public Broadcasting. A Florence, S.D. native, Josh graduated with a journalism degree from South Dakota State University. He has worked as a newspaper reporter and videographer, and most recently as managing editor for Dakota News Now. Josh is based out of SDPB's Sioux Falls studio.