Sales Tax Increase Bill Fails (Audio)
By Jenifer Jones
A bill that allows municipalities to impose an additional penny sales and use tax died in the House Local Government Committee. Had it passed, residents could have voted to raise the tax on a local level to generate funds for a project with a specific end date.
The bill gave residents of Sioux Falls the option to raise the tax to fund a proposed event center, and proponents say many other cities could benefit and raise money for things they need. Yvonne Taylor is the Executive Director of the South Dakota Municipal League.
"A town that cannot support the needs of businesses and citizens is going to fail," Taylor says. "And that is bad for the entire state. This bill allows the towns the tools they need to tend to their economic field."
Opponents such as Representative Darrell Solberg of Sioux Falls say towns choosing to raise their sales tax would hurt residents.
"Every time we raise funds, it's on the regressive side," Solberg says. "And I wish we would wake up in South Dakota some day and take a look at the ability to pay."
The committee voted ten to three to defer the bill to the 41st legislative day.
Member stations can download the audio file here.