Entries Tagged 'Veterans Day' ↓

Veterans: Discounts and Sales Tax

Guest Post – Dan Daily

Honorably discharged veterans now qualify for shopping online at military exchanges (retail & some services). Active duty and National Guard already use this shopping. The full service starts November 11 but there’s ‘beta tests’ at present. If you’re a vet, go to VetVerify.org. There’s typically a 20 percent DISCOUNT with special arrangements for major purchases (appliances/cars). Prices are not posted until you’re logged in securely. NO SALES TAX.

Given South Dakota government is principally supported by sales tax, there’s significant budget repercussion. The state is 860K with 68K veterans. Veteran dependents can use the service such that there is potential for more than 100K total customers. Retail sales could decline 10% or more at first with awareness potential for 15% by 2020. Reporting is exempt. Some shopping sites let you fill in false information and make purchases.




Sales were focused more on the two major cities in the state. Internet sales is why there are so many empty store fronts.

Sioux Falls has had and (because of this) will continue having revenue short falls. It’s more than just Amazon and other tax free online purchases. There are signs the booming economy is over. It will be harder to make bond payments on the half billion in debt. This is not a time for play places, admin buildings, or parking garages. It’s important to amend the charter so there’s no strong mayor veto power and no council overrides. Take away the mayors’ credit card and put him on an allowance.

Thank you South Dacola for this blog site. This information doesn’t get reported by the media and certainly not as a local government public service announcement.

I told you so? One of the main reasons why the indoor aquatic center was built in a bad location

We said it during the campaign, the location will cause issues with expansion (of the pool) and parking. And while I was not totally opposed to a public indoor pool (I think a partnership with Sanford at the sports complex would have been best) the parking situation is going to get very, very interesting;

Construction of the Primary Care addition on the Veterans Affairs Hospital in Sioux Falls is nearly complete, and expected to be open in October. However, other phases of the project are far from finished, and it’s affecting patient care.

“My biggest limiting factor for care, is space,” said VA Health Care System Director, Darwin Goodspeed.

The VA Hospital treats more than 27,000 patients in east river every year, and the number of patients continues to rise. So, the need to expand the current building for more care comes with a price tag of $20 million.

“We’re doing some expansion, specifically to add square footage to our clinical spaces so that we can have more space available to see more veterans – more patient care.”

You also have to factor in the ‘quit claim deed’. Will the VA eventually start chipping away at the green space of Spellerberg for more parking? This location spelled trouble from the beginning, not just because of parking issues and expansion but it is built on a heavily traveled two-lane arterial (Western Avenue), that I nicknamed years ago ‘the parade route’.

Let the parking wars begin.

War has it’s price

Whenever I see the above hat, shivers go down my spine. I know a lot of Vietnam vets, and they never have very happy stories about the war. However I find them to be deep in character, brotherhood and patriots when it comes to our country.

Honor all of those who have served their country.

A big shout-out to Billy Bob, Dan and Laddie. I’m glad to know you.

Veteran’s Day post of the day

(SD) The Volante

Nation at a crossroads this Veterans Day

By LeighAnn Dunn • November 11, 2009

Before the Iraq War, our nation had a policy of not striking a potential enemy unless our interests were clearly endangered of imminent attack.

The Iraqi invasion changed that policy.

This “first strike” standard also obligates our nation to another standard, which is to take extraordinary steps to prevent wars our leaders can see developing in the future. One threat we clearly see and can prevent is further damage from climate change. The U.S. Department of Defense, the CIA, the State Department and the National Intelligence Council see this threat and are all incorporating man-made climate change as a security threat into their long-term planning. Here are some climate change scenarios our nation’s top military minds are looking at:

• Climate change dries up water and creates famine. Nations panic. Wars erupt. American troops get deployed.

• Climate change makes sea levels rise, creating tens of millions of refugees. Refugee camps are ripe recruiting grounds for terrorist organizations.

• Climate change fuels radical storms to occur more frequently. This stretches military resources from their primary mission: defending America against our enemies.

Top military and intelligence authorities are working on strategies to respond:

•  In February the Pentagon and State Department will include a climate section in their next respective Quadrennial Review.

•  Last year, the National Intelligence Council said “global climate change will have wide-ranging implications for U.S. National security interests over the next 20 years.”

• This fall, the CIA launches a center on climate change to examine security risks.

This year’s Veterans Day finds our nation at a crossroads clouded by political wrangling. Lobbyists for oil and coal companies want to kill climate change legislation in Congress right now, because their clients get rich keeping things the way they are, even though our military and intelligence leaders know climate change will create a series of wars around the world.

Our nation spends $1 billion per day on crude oil from other countries, some of which are unstable or hostile to America’s security. American consumers are forced to help fund both sides of the war against terrorism. Add to the monetary costs the lives of American soldiers, like those who served with me in Iraq. Since 1973, we’ve known America remains threatened as long as we depend on foreign oil.

Our nation has a stronger obligation than ever before to avoid wars that can be prevented to preserve our national interests. I can think of no better response than to pass the Clean Energy Jobs & American Power Act in Congress, and put our nation in the leadership position to end this threat now.

LeighAnn Dunn

USD Graduate Student and member of the S.D. National Guard