Legislative Week 5

The South Dakota Legislature concluded its 5th week of session on Thursday with one of the heaviest legislative loads that any of us have ever experienced. Currently there are over 500 bills, which is among the largest number of bills in over a decade.

I continue this week working on sales and use tax expenditures. My bill to address the expenditures will be heard in House Taxation on Tuesday morning. I continue to be concerned with the “Special Carve Outs on exemptions” when we’ve seen the largest tax increases to the citizen of South Dakota over the last 5 years

Two years ago we raised the state sales tax by a ½% increasing the revenue by $110 million for teacher pay. In 2015 we passed SB 1 to fund roads and bridges at an annual cost of $202 million to taxpayers. According to relatively conservative notions the growth of state government has grown by 35% in the last ten years.

Following is an update to Healthcare exemption for sales and use tax. I’ve accounted for Medicare spending because there wouldn’t be any sales and use tax from Medicare spending. The table shows the estimated net revenue from HB1309.
HB1309 Revenue / (Expenses) from Sales & Use Tax Exemptions
Health Services & Other Health Related Items (10-45-14,etc..) $ 282,664,992
Sales & Use Tax Exemption on Food $ (97,441,344)
Electricity on Irrigation Pumps (10-45-19.1, 10-46-17.2) $ 3,426,728
Advertising Services (10-45-12.1) $ 21,641,418
Membership fees to membership organizations (10-45-13.1) $ 8,033,805
Motion picture rentals for theaters (10-45-12.1) $ 622,034
Net Revenue from HB1309 $ 218,947,633

I’m unsure what the final language will look like, but at the very least a sunset clause on all exemptions need to be reviewed by the legislature before considering any new taxes.

This past week, Senator Killer, Rep. Livermont and myself were honored to have Kadoka and Bennett Co. Senior government classes visit the capital. Thank you to Mandi Smokov and Dave Ohrtman for engaging their students in the process.

As always, you can contact me at the House Chamber number 773-3851. Leave a phone number and I’ll call you back. The fax number is 773-6806. If you send a fax, address it to Rep. Elizabeth May. You can also email me at Elizabeth.May@sdlegislature.gov during session. You can keep track of bills and committee meetings at this link: http://legis.state.sd.us/ You can also use this link to find the legislators, see what committees they are on, read all the bills and track the status of each bill, listen to committee hearings, and contact legislators.

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