SIOUX FALLS, SD (Dakota News Now) – The November election is about three weeks away and campaigns are underway across the country.
Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jamie Smith was today’s Sioux Falls guest at the Rotary Center.
All three candidates were invited, but Smith was the only one who attended.
Several topics were discussed at the forum, but the first was Gov. Christy Noem’s proposal to eliminate the state’s food tax, which of course backfired on her.
Calling it “political analysis,” Smith reiterated the idea was one that state lawmakers have floated for more than 20 years, including Smith’s own proposal.
“He knows he has to cut taxes somewhere, which he hasn’t been able to do,” Smith said.
Smith criticized Noem for not calling a special session of the Legislature to repeal the food sales tax, citing remarks he made at a Sioux Falls grocery store last week.
“He looked kind of shocked into the camera and said, ‘Well, I don’t have the votes for it,'” Smith said. “Well, my job is to work to get the votes. We got the votes to pass it in the House this year. We passed it. We sent it to the Senate, but it got a death warrant, I’m sure, because it was…
Smith then imitated the sight and sound of a flying object falling to the ground with hand gestures and whistling.
When asked how the state could replace the revenue it gets from the food sales tax, Smith, unprompted, brought up one of three statewide measures that will be on the November ballot.
He is a supporter of Initiative Measure 27, which would legalize recreational cannabis.
“First of all, I think (IM 27 is) going to pass this year and we’ll have something new to tax,” Smith said. “A good friend of mine said from the past that we don’t need to tax other things, we need to tax new things, and we think we’re going to get it.”
After a few moments, he said, “there’s more money coming in because of this, and these are areas where I think we can use tax money from this to help mental health in this community.”
A few hours later, Governor Noem’s campaign website made a statement with the headline: “Jamie Smith: ‘We need to do more to tax.'”
The first two lines of the statement read as follows:
Today, at an event with the Sioux Falls Downtown Rotary, Jamie Smith told the audience, “We need to do more things to tax.” Then he doubled down and said, “I’m in favor of a tax on new things.” You can find a video of Jamie Smith’s words here Here.
“When someone tells you who they are, believe them,” he said Governor Christie Noem. “I have cut taxes for South Dakotans and my first priority is eliminating the food sales tax. Jamie Smith proved today that he cannot be trusted with South Dakota’s finances.
As he did when Noem announced his proposal to repeal the food sales tax, Smith said today that he not only supports the move, but that he has introduced it in the Legislature and it has been proposed for more than two decades. was
Dakota News Now reached out to Noem’s gubernatorial campaign to find out why he declined to appear at the session.
Director of Communications Ian Fury, directed by Dakota News Now, responded to the same promotional press release and did not answer why Noem was not present at the forum.
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