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Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Rounds Raising Taxes, or "Letting" Locals Do It?

A request for clarification: this morning I asked whether Governor Rounds's call for tough cuts might not be better tempered by some leadership in calling for new sources of revenue, also known as tax increases.

The front page headline in today's Sioux Falls paper is that Rounds is asking for a property tax increase. But Terry Woster's Q&A says the governor's proposal, to skip the usual bookkeeping reduction in the mill levy, will let local property taxes go up.

I confess my ignorance and seek the wisdom of crowds. Is Governor Rounds really calling for a tax increase? Or is that setting of the mill levy simply a way to leave the door open for local officials to raise taxes? Either way, when our property taxes go up next year, I just want to be ready to blame the right people.

Russ, Gerry, everyone else, your explanations are welcome!

And three cheers for Gerry—Representative Lange, that is. That dogged District 8 Democrat called in to SDPB this noon to beat the drum for one obvious way to pay the bills: a corporate income tax! Go get 'em Gerry!


  1. Is Gerry Lange also signing on to sponsor the Medical Marijuana bill in South Dakota again? I hear it is back and they want Gerry's support! He's always been such a forward thinker.

  2. I think that the idea in regards to property taxes is that the mil levy would not go up, but assessed values probably would.

    I moved to Lead in 2004. Since then, I've seen my assessed property value double. That's pretty realistic in this town, however, because of the prospects of the Sanford Lab being built and a "technology corridor" someday arising. I hope our new President is keen on technology and science!

    Property taxes are generally high in South Dakota, and Lead is among the highest in the state. But even here in Lead, property taxes are nowhere near as high as it they in certain parts of the Northeast U.S. In downtown Hartford, Connecticut, mil levies in the 1970s were as high as 94 (that's almost a dime on the dollar) and in certain parts of Pennsylvania around 1980 I saw them as high as 111 (more than a dime on the dollar)! Dios mio!

    I heard Gerry on SDPB, too. They were pretty rough on him. I have to confess that I agree with his critics on the income-tax issue -- unless it be your plan, Cory, where all the revenue derives from the income tax (and all other state taxes are abolished). But your plan makes too much sense.

  3. I meant to say "and all other state and local taxes are abolished."

    And then I would have done well to add, "forever and ever and ever amen."


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