Poll shows support for IM 28

Two-thirds of South Dakotans support an initiated measure that would prohibit the state from collecting sales tax on “anything sold for human consumption, except alcoholic beverages and prepared food,” according to a scientific poll co-sponsored by South Dakota News Watch. 

The poll of 500 registered voters showed that 66% of respondents are for the 2024 ballot measure, with 26% opposed and 7% undecided. That means public support for Initiated Measure 28 has increased since a November 2023 poll that showed 61% of registered voters in favor of it.

Opponents criticized the wording of the measure as broader than just groceries. They said it could cause a budget crunch by preventing the state from collecting sales tax on “consumable” items such as tobacco and toothpaste. 

Supporters call the measure a long-overdue effort to take the tax burden off low-income families and individuals. They point out that South Dakota is one of just two states, along with Mississippi, that fully taxes food without offering credits or rebates.

Rick Weiland of Dakotans for Health, the petition group that sponsored IM 28, noted that Gov. Kristi Noem pushed for repealing the grocery tax during her 2022 re-election effort. In announcing the campaign pledge, Noem said the tax cut  would “put hundreds of dollars in the pockets of the average South Dakota family.