South Dakota Legislature Starts The New Year With Tax Increases

Last year in South Dakota, the Legislature delivered tax/fee increases totaling $60 million dollars a year, plus/minus.


That is recorded history.  Until recently, when some voting score cards appeared, they went largely unchallenged.  Many Legislators are very unhappy about these voting scorecards, but now, they are preparing to open the 2012 session with still MORE tax increases. 

What is it they do not understand about, “WE ARE TAXED ENOUGH ALREADY”?

To help our elected officials understand what a tax is, here is the definition: “a sum of money demanded by a government for its support or for specific facilities or services.”


If people pay MORE tax, it is called a TAX INCREASE.

Last year, excuses were given and legislators insisted there were no tax increases.  Let’s be clear; eliminating the sunset on a tax is a tax increase… people will pay more money than if the sunset were left in place.

Registration fee increases are tax increases.  (People will pay more money.)  That makes it an increase.

Still wonder if a registration fee is a tax?  Look at the definition.  MEMORIZE IT.  There will be a test.

Together with another tax increase, HB1002, the expected additional tax revenue is projected to be something over $300,000 per year.  Legislators insist that these are not tax increases, “just elimination of current exemptions”.  Do people pay more?  Then it is a tax increase!

SB1 increases the sales tax charged on large boats from 3% to 4%.  The argument FOR this increase is that it “brings fairness” by “equalizing” the tax with that charged on small boats.


OK.  Some of us might even buy that argument, but we still think ANY tax increase is a bad idea.  Sure, it’s only (?) “a little over a quarter of a million dollars,” but it comes out of the pockets of the people.


I am waiting for SOMEONE to be a hero and introduce a bill that gives this money back to the taxpayers.  Unless, of course, all of our 105 Legislators think state government just can’t get by without more money from taxpayers.


***Gordon Howie is a nationally syndicated author and CEO of Life and Liberty Media***

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