Key legislator: Food tax a possibility in 2010 session

While many people try to look to the approaching new year with optimism, not all state legislative leaders share in the mirth. Senator Cap Dierks of Ewing says despite the special session last month, financial issues may still dominate the regular session that’ll start in a few weeks, and there’s even talk of a food tax.
“I think we’re looking at problems ahead on the budget,” Dierks says, “I don’t think we’ll have to address too much of that in the general session but we won’t know until we get some reports from the Economic Forecasting Board.”
Dierks is vice chair of the legislature’s Revenue Committee, which held hearings around the state since the 2009 session adjourned in May. He says they heard a lot of the same complaints at most of the hearings. One of the most common topics was farmers, ranchers and homeowners who are upset by rising property taxes.
He says committee members have been talking over some tax revision proposals. He says one possible solution would eliminate some sales tax exemptions on a variety of products and services, including food, something that wouldn’t have had a chance of passing a few years ago but now, Dierks says, “Today, maybe, there might be enough support to put a tax on food.”
The legislative session opens January 6th.
Thanks to Jerry Oster, WNAX, Yankton