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  • Joey Kragness, NewsCenter1

South Dakota lawmakers work to tackle taxes before the legislative session ends

Updated: Jan 31

RAPID CITY, S.D. – South Dakota’s 98th legislative session is set to come to a close at the end of the day on Thursday, with just four more days to go. Lawmakers have a lot to get done in these final days, with taxes being one of the main topics of discussion.

Taxes Up for Debate

One of the main issues up for debate this week is taxes, including the possibility of overriding the governor’s veto of a bill that calls for doubling the hotel occupation tax in business improvement districts. The tax would go from two dollars to four.

Representative Mike Derby from District 34 stated, “It’s a big deal for the tourism industry and those destination marketing organizations that utilize those funds.” Lawmakers are looking to override the veto because it would allow for more local control.

The General Sales Tax and Property Tax Credit

Also up for debate this week is an amendment to the bill cutting the general sales tax by three-tenths of a point. The amendment calls for the tax cut to expire after two years. Additionally, lawmakers will examine a revision to the property tax proposal, which would increase the credit from 300 to 425 dollars.

The Grocery Tax Repeal Bill

While the grocery tax repeal bill is dead, it could still be brought up via a hoghouse amendment, which is when the language in that bill would get amended to another bill.

Representative Derby stated, “I think there’s a likelihood that we’ll see it again in some form or fashion. Now, how that all shakes out, I can’t really answer at this time.”

Big Wins for the Black Hills Community

Several bills considered big wins for the Black Hills community are still awaiting Governor Noem’s signature. The Sanford Underground Research Facility is set to receive 13 million dollars to continue construction and expansion. The School of Mines is also set to receive funding to offset some inflation costs on the construction of the Mineral Industries Building.

Representative Derby noted, “Unless you’re an appropriator, it’s a pretty quiet time, to be honest with you. So on appropriations as chair, we’re as busy as we can be.”

The legislative session ends at the end of the day this Thursday, with lawmakers returning for veto day on March 27.

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