SD State legislature finally decides to talk about the budget

Oh, crap! Is it already the end of the legislative session! Better prepare the budget;

By the end of the day on Friday, the South Dakota Legislature will approve a budget containing significant spending cuts — but the shape and size of those cuts is far from determined.

This is what I scratch my head about every year. Before the legislative session starts everyone starts crying about how broke we are (which we are) so you would think the very short session would be devoted to solving our budget issues. Nope. Abortion. Guns and more guns.

But it seems a dirty little secret has been exposed;

Lawmakers are also discussing the possibility of getting rid of some of the state’s $500 million in tax exemptions. Unlike a tax rate increase, Gov. Dennis Daugaard has said he is open to eliminating tax exemptions. Two bills dealing with tax exemptions have passed both houses; several others have been killed. Any legislator could introduce a budget amendment eliminating more sales tax exemptions.

$500 million! WTF! While I am an ardent supporter of some exemptions, it seems we could probably find a couple of them that should be eliminated?

But that would be too easy, why not something more difficult and painful;

A much-discussed alternative, HB1141, would set a special election this November for initiated measures with the intent of allowing for a popular vote on a tax increase.

BAHAHAHAHA! This wouldn’t pass in a million years, and any legislator who thinks it would should get their freaking head examined. We give tax breaks and refunds to Canadian corporations to dig holes in our state then turn around and expect South Dakotans to pay more in taxes on a loaf of bread? Get real.

Eliminate exemptions and tax advertising. Done deal.


#1 rufusx on 03.08.11 at 9:25 pm

Actually – I believe there has been some polling done that says that SD’ns would support a temporary 1-cent sales tax increase.

#2 Helga on 03.09.11 at 1:32 am

I saw this on Bernie Hunhoff’s facebook page. Why do the repugs refuse to spend this money. It is for a rainy day……..I believe it is pouring right now.

Bernie Hunhoff
The state’s trust funds have gained $17 million in the last month alone. South Dakota is not bankrupt and destitute like other states. We’ve bankrolled some $800 million dollars. Democrats here are looking for bi-partisan support to use $36 million from the Education Enhancement Trust Fund for schools and $15 million from the Health Care Trust Fund for Medicaid. It’s our last gasp in this too-long drama.

#3 rufusx on 03.09.11 at 8:04 am

What? You mean a Repub admin is drumming up rhetoric about a phony crisis (WMD in Iraq) in order to ………?

#4 l3wis on 03.09.11 at 8:13 am

Helga – Doogard was asked about those trust funds during an episode of Inside Keloland. Dennis mumbled something about not being able to touch that money, and Keneke wouldn’t let him off the hook, and she said, “But isn’t that what the money is for? To help in down times.” He got kinda pissy and was adamant about not touching the money. I have often felt the conspiracy theorist in me thinks someone is making dough on the side from the state investments, so they try to keep them as high as possible. But, Bernie is correct, it would solve the problem quickly and would be completely legal – and logical. And that is why Republicans don’t support it.

#5 Scooter on 03.09.11 at 8:51 am

Daugaard and his buddies need that money to pay for Tax offsets and refunds, meals, lodging and what ever else out of State corporate raiders need as they are pressed to move their businesses to South Dakota.

Wink wink. Nod nod, and super secret under the table hand-shakes…

#6 l3wis on 03.09.11 at 9:16 am

It amazes me that we would set up a system that is good for the state, like trust fund investments, then turn around and deny the very people who contribute to that fund the benefits of it. I am so furious about it don’t have any words to describe it.

#7 Helga on 03.09.11 at 6:01 pm

They should be spending the money. They lost a lot of it when the stock market went in the dumper, it would have been better to have spent it then lose it. Now the market comes back and still the gov. won’t spend it. Maybe it goes towards the planes left over from Rounds or Valhalla or in someone’s pocket.
I would agree it is very disgusting. 35 years of republican rule. Who knows where all the money is hidden??!!

#8 Sy on 03.09.11 at 8:43 pm

I agree with Dooguard that we shouldn’t touch the State’s investment portfolio. We should be able to find other ways. How about legalizing industrial hemp = balanced budget + surplus on a “green” technology that we are already set up for.

The loss last year is just like the gain this year = on paper. We are in a recession, but we aren’t anywhere near pouring. I equate that to 1930’s dust bowl, bank runs, long lines for soup type pouring. Farmers in particular had a great year last year. When we hit the tri-fecta of double digit unemployment, interest rates, and inflation you’ve got your time to start talking raiding the nest egg.

#9 l3wis on 03.09.11 at 9:23 pm

But why shouldn’t we touch it? Isn’t that what the money is for? Besides, it is not Doogards money, it is our fucking money.

#10 Helga on 03.10.11 at 1:28 am

When the dems are in control the repubs whine it is OUR money give it back. But when the repubs are in control then it is THEIR money and keep your dirty hands off of it.

#11 Hammerhead on 03.10.11 at 6:04 am

I think Doogard is following policy set by the National Republican leadership. There are other states that have the same issue as SD with Rep. govenors and the same thing is happening, cut education, medicare and not to use reserves. As far as the exemptions go, the legies put them in there at the request of their buddies & they do not want to repeal them because of the shit they will get at the local coffee shop. The state is going down the tubes and soon all the young people will be gone and all that will be left are a bunch of grumpy old Repubs.

#12 l3wis on 03.10.11 at 7:17 am

“all that will be left are a bunch of grumpy old Repubs.”

Isn’t it that way already?

I don’t understand why these trust funds are so sacred? I know a lot of people, including myself, who dipped into their investments and savings to help them get through the past couple of years so they wouldn’t lose their houses, etc. That’s why people have these accounts, to use them in case something happens. Ideally, yes they are for retirement, etc. But if you had a choice to be thrown out on the street or using one of your accounts, what would it be? I think it is a very slippery slope if we start defunding public education.

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