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AARP AARP States South Dakota Advocacy

SD Legislature Week 5: Talking Sales Tax on Food and Retirement


With Week 5 in the books, we have reached the halfway point of the 2024 South Dakota legislative session. Here are the bills we are working on for you.

Senate Joint Resolution 510
AARP South Dakota testified in favor of Senate Joint Resolution 510 (SJR510), which would refer to the voters on the November 2024 ballot the question of whether South Dakota should lower the state sales and use tax rate on food to zero percent. The bill passed out of the Senate Taxation Committee on a 4-2 vote but was defeated on the Senate floor on a 27-5 vote.

Sales taxes are a regressive form of taxation, and a sales tax on groceries is especially burdensome for older and lower-income individuals and families who may already be struggling to meet their daily needs. A tax on groceries may require older South Dakotans to choose between the purchase of food for themselves and their families and other vital necessities, such as prescription drugs or heat.
Access to an adequate and nutritious diet is foundational to maintaining health, quality of life and independence as we age. While the risk of developing chronic conditions increases with age, recent AARP research indicates that nutrition is more important for healthy aging than generally recognized.

Our older South Dakotans are volunteers, caregivers and veterans, and their contributions to our state and communities have been – and continue to be – vital. Eliminating the sales tax on groceries so they can access nutritious food without having to sacrifice other essentials would help them continue to lead a healthy, active life.

Although SJR510 was defeated in the legislature, a ballot initiative is being circulated that would repeal the sales tax on groceries and, if enough signatures are collected, South Dakotans will have an opportunity to vote on this issue in November.

Senate Bills 68 and 69
Senate Bill 68 (SB68) and Senate Bill 69 (SB69) are the bills being brought by the South Dakota Retirement System (SDRS) during the 2024 legislative session. AARP South Dakota monitored SB68 and SB69, both of which have passed through the Senate and House of Representatives and now go to the Governor for her signature.

SB68 updates reference to the Internal Revenue Code and updates age requirements for Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs) for members who attain age 72 after December 31, 2022, and age 73 before January 1, 2033, to age 73.

SB69 clarifies language for employer evaluation of a disability, clarifies language for health care provider evaluation of a disability and revises language to include a waiver for a spouse’s signature in the case of an absent spouse for the benefit to start.

SB68 and SB 9 are viewed as clean-up bills from the SDRS and received strong support as they made their way through the legislature.

Connect with Lawmakers at Legislative Cracker Barrels
Another great way for you to make your voice heard, along with sending emails or making phone calls, is to attend local legislative coffees or "cracker barrel" sessions held on the weekends when legislators are back in their home districts. We have compiled information on some locations that have already announced upcoming cracker barrel sessions. Is your community hosting a cracker barrel event? Email us the information at, and we will update our list.

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We have a web page to keep up to date with all our advocacy updates. Be sure to share this page with friends and invite them to become advocates with AARP South Dakota!

Please reach out if you have any questions or feedback during this legislative session:
Phone: 605-350-6348

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