South Dakotans don't ask much from their government. They just want the Freedom to live their lives and for the government to guarantee a level playing field with common sense rules for everyone to play by. As I travel our beautiful state, I hear from South Dakotans who are grateful for that Freedom. But many of them are struggling under the weight of inflation caused by President Biden's extremist policies. They ask me what can be done to give them relief.
This week, I announced my pledge to eliminate the sales tax on food in my next budget. This will be the largest tax cut in South Dakota's history, putting $100 million back in the pockets of South Dakota taxpayers.
Everyone is feeling the pressures of Biden's inflation. And they're feeling it the most when they buy groceries. I was at a grocery store recently, and the store owner told me that his overall food costs have increased by 14% over the last year. Unfortunately, he's had to pass a lot of that to his customers. Since President Biden took office, the price of a gallon of milk is up by 20%. The price of a pound of ground beef is up by 25%. The price of a dozen eggs is up by 113% -- that's shocking. But it's the reality that South Dakotans are facing.
South Dakota has an incredible tax system -- we have no state income tax or corporate tax. We don't levy a statewide property tax. I have always been in favor of finding ways to let taxpayers keep more of their hard-earned income. By eliminating this tax, we can help South Dakotans better afford their grocery bill, which will relieve some of the pressure on their family's budget.
The truth is South Dakota's finances are in incredible shape. We continue to break records for tax revenues thanks to our strongest economy in the nation. Our state's surplus is the largest in our history -- 20.5% of our overall budget. And Fitch Ratings just reaffirmed our AAA credit rating.
But those tax dollars don't belong to the government. They belong to the taxpayers -- the people of South Dakota. This is the right tax cut at the right time, and I look forward to getting it done.
Our people deserve a level playing field. They deserve Freedom. And they deserve to not have to worry about how they'll afford food. This tax cut will put hundreds of dollars back into the pockets of every South Dakota family. It will give them the relief that they so desperately need. The people of South Dakota deserve no less.