South Dakota’s Regressive Sales Taxes are a prehistoric way to fund government

As if it isn’t bad enough that the state taxes food, and increased it by a half penny last year, now the state wants to implement another penny and a half on Farmer’s Market food sold by Falls Park. The state may be able to pull this off. Because state law says they can charge this additional tax to any retailer at a tourist site.

State Rep. Jamie Smith, D-Sioux Falls, said while he understands the revenue office is only enforcing the laws that are already on the books, an exemption for farmers markets is something he’d support. While he believes there shouldn’t be any taxation on food, burdening local producers with a higher tax than grocery stores will only deter the public from using alternative food sources.

“We’re discouraging locally grown products,” he said. “Those are dollars staying local right here. The person that grew that carrot lives here, spends money here and goes to school here.”

I guess I would have two arguments against the additional tax. First off, they are not selling souvenirs, they are selling FOOD. Secondly, the Farmer’s Market isn’t really in Falls Park, it’s actually wedged between a stinky meat packing plant, and a blue-collar bar, hardly the tourist attraction. People come to the market to buy fresh produce and the occasional jar of raw honey. They are not buying T-shirts of Falls Park.

I guess things are getting so desperate for the state and the city, they are looking to start charging additional fees on anything they can, including claiming organic food products are now souvenirs.

The sad part is they continue to make excuses about the farm economy and internet sales instead of offering solutions (and there are really simple solutions out there). They keep wanting to beat the dead horse hoping to suck more money out of it.

Let’s face it, sales taxes are regressive and primitive. Don’t get me wrong, they are applicable for many things, but should NEVER be charged on necessities like Food, Clothing and Energy costs.

Of course everyone fears an income tax. To most hard working South Dakotans, an income would never even touch you or effect you.

I would suggest we implement a three step process over 6 years;

First step would be to eliminate ALL sales taxes on anything tangible or a service that is considered a necessity of life or living. For example, you wouldn’t pay a tax to get your tire fixed on your car but you would pay one at a sun tanning salon. I would then increase that sales tax to 10-12% on all the remaining products and services. There would also be a ‘luxury’ clause. If you bought a minivan for your family of 5, you probably wouldn’t pay a tax on that, but if you bought a Porsche Crossover, there may be a tax. Same would go with luxury homes.

I would wait two years before implementing step two, which would be a income tax on corporations profiting more then $2 million a year, singles making more than $100K a year and households making more than $200k a year. This would be a flat tax of about 5-7% with NO exemptions.

I would wait another two years to implement the last stage, shut down Video Lottery. I would keep property taxes where they are.

Let’s face it, we can continue to bitch and complain about sales tax revenue going in the hole, but as the gap between the rich and poor get bigger, it’s reality, because it is a regressive tax. Tax those who can afford it.



10 comments ↓

#1 Emoluments Clause on 05.23.17 at 3:20 pm

It is my understanding that the Empire Mall attracts more people in a year than Mount Rushmore does. In fact, I have heard Mall officials personally brag that they are South Dakota’s number one tourist attraction in the state. If that is the case, then the Empire is a tourist attraction right, or maybe?

Well, I think you know where I am going with this, so what stops them from increasing the sales tax at the Empire Mall too? And wouldn’t it only be fair?….I am afraid, I just gave the Revenue Department an idea. 🙁

#2 The D@ily Spin on 05.23.17 at 5:40 pm

We must buy from Walmart and lease from Lloyd. It’s required. How dare a few proprietors take a small bit of commerce so they can buy milk for the baby. Sioux Falls is not a place where one garage gadget can become a 50 billion dollar corporation known as Apple.

#3 The D@ily Spin on 05.23.17 at 5:44 pm

Next thing you know, the city will attack a second hand store where poor mothers can afford baby clothes so they have more money for food. Cruel!!!

#4 LJL on 05.23.17 at 8:35 pm

Wishy washy bunch if liberal BS. If you stopped taxing minvans and overtaxed porsches, our tax funds will collapse. You really do think theirs a lot of rich folks dont you. You have a horrible case of envy.

6% on advertising and 2% on investment interest such as trusts.

#5 The Guy from Guernsey on 05.24.17 at 8:01 am

That the State of South Dakota would force these vendors to collect a tourism tax is preposterous.

The optics on this are extremely poor … but, of course there is no one in state government, anywhere in Pierre who might recognize bad optics. Hence all the crappy legislative pieces. From every legislative session. Year after year.

And then there is the long-standing tradition for corruption, cronyism and political graft.

Perhaps unwittingly, our state government in South Dakota has “poster child” status for bad optics.

#6 l3wis on 05.24.17 at 8:29 am

LJL, I do like your ideas as well.

Ironically, yes, SD does have a lot of rich people. SD has one of the highest percentages of millionaires per capita. Not sure if we are #1 in the country, but I know we are at least in the top 5.

#7 The Don on 05.24.17 at 6:18 pm

Envy is a prominent theme on this blog. Pathetic but predictable.

#8 LJL on 05.24.17 at 7:53 pm

Nope. Not even close.
http://w3.phoenixmi.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/Phoenix-GWM-U.S.-Ranking-States-By-Millioinaires-Per-Capita-2006-13.pdf
http://www.cnbc.com/2014/01/15/top-states-for-millionaires-per-capita.html
http://www.cnbc.com/2017/02/16/these-states-have-the-most-millionaires-per-capita.html

I know you think a lot South Dakotans are “Land Rich” but owning land does not equate to wealth unless someone is willing to buy it from you.

#9 Bruce on 05.24.17 at 8:29 pm

Let’s think about this a bit. This is a perfect example of why Congress would not force the implementation of website sales taxes. How would anyone know if the tax applies or doesn’t.

If I order food through Amazon using a cellphone standing in Falls Park or next to it, how would we apply a tourist tax? How would Amazon know to charge a tourist tax? Could you avoid the tax by turning off the cellphone location service?

What if a grocery store has been in a location deemed later to be a historic / tourist center is it then forced to charge a tourist tax to the longstanding customers of the neighborhood?

There is a bar adjacent and between the two driveways of the farmers market setup. This bar is across the street from Falls Park just like the farmers market, do they now have to charge a tourist tax? Could this be a way to force the bar to leave the neighborhood?

There is a little ethnic grocery currently across Weber from Falls Park. Are they now required to collect a tourist tax?

There is a bronze foundry across Weber Ave (owned by a well known, well placed attorney) making items construed to be for tourists. Will they now have to collect and pay a higher sales tax?

There is an automotive repair shop across Weber Ave from Falls Park, do they now have to charge a tourist tax if they help a park visitor in anyway or must they now charge a tourist tax?

Sioux Steel is on land the Parks Department has long coveted, do we charge them tourist tax to force them to just give up and leave town?

The old round house is now an office building, because they are doing business next to the park, do they have to charge the tourist tax because they might look out their windows and enjoy the atmosphere.

We could talk about the other businesses on Weber or we could go over to North Phillips Ave and start collecting more taxes from businesses because they are adjacent to Falls Park.

When did Falls Park become some kind of official tourist zone like Deadwood? The next thing we will see is downtown Sioux Falls business district a tourist zone with higher sales taxes. Remember the auto body shop on East 8th who had to plead for petunias like everyone else in the “downtown” district? Every time he works on a vehicle he could also charge a tourist tax?

Since the Empire Mall is Sioux Falls and South Dakota major tourist attraction, let’s start charging the tourist tax there.

Plan and simple, this tourist tax idea is just dumb.

#10 scott on 05.26.17 at 12:45 pm

does the gift shop at falls park charge the tourism tax? if not, why not?

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