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Sunday, December 20, 2009

First SD Legislature Bills Include Nickel Gas Tax Hike

Start your engines! The first bills of the 2010 South Dakota Legislature are online! Among the highlights, Senate Bill 1, "An Act to increase certain registration fees and taxes for the use of motor vehicles on the public highways and to declare an emergency." The most widely shared increase is a nickel hike in the gas tax. Licenses on any motor vehicle over 2000 pounds go up (Smart cars, anyone?). Folks with motorcycles, trailers, and motor homes would also pay more for their licenses. (Expect opposition from Madison's MyDakotaAddress.com and other businesses making money on the manufacturing of fake South Dakotans.)

My favorite socialist neighbor Gerry is sponsoring this one, as are Senator Merchant and four other Dems, but this bipartisan bill has the backing five good Republicans as well, including Rep. Krebs. These are the same folks from the interim highway committee who showed some political leadership last October in voting to advance this plan. These legislators take the seemingly reasonable position that South Dakota can't rely on Uncle Sam for every penny of highway funding.

As we gear up for the anti-tax hyperventilation from various quarters, let's remember what Rep. Vehle said at the October 14 hearing:

Everyone in this committee.. has a feeling that we need to do something... We'd all like to do probably a lot more than we feel in a recession we can do. But we need to take a hard look and be ready to explain to our colleagues the need that our highways have.... [A]ny society that lets its infrastructure fail or start to fail is also going down a wrong road and putting our society in jeopardy [Senator Mike Vehle, 2009.10.14].

Do you want to pay for the road you take to work? Or do prefer to put that money toward new struts as you go bouncing over the potholes?


  1. I would support a SLIGHT gas tax increase as those who pay for the service/use would be paying the tax. I would NOT favor a tax hike for education or Medicaid. Cuts need to be made in both of those programs. Make Medicaid dependent on drug/alcohol testing; if you can afford either of these, you can afford health care. If you want more money for education, first get rid of the extraneous costs in administration, new buildings, travel, nursing services, social workers, psychologists, etc and put all money toward academics. The rest of the stuff can be taken care of outside of the realm of school and should be. Then there just might be enough money in the budget for education. A free public education was meant to just that, a free public academic education. Well rounded comes from family, church, and community.

  2. Linda, does a nickel a gallon meet your "slight" criterion?

  3. Steve Sibson12/20/2009 1:57 PM

    Vehle is living in a district that is building a bike path bridge where there is no bike path. Why can't they spend those dollars on fixing our roads instead of taxing us more?

  4. No, no, no. Krebs joint committee FAILED to cut a single item form DOTs wish list. There is no intent to do anything other than tax-and-spend. There is no intent to prioritize or to make hard choices.
    Before "raising" any taxes - cut the subsidizes to the big rigs that damage the roads; to off-road and farm vehicles (they arrive "off-road" by driving or trailoring on the road).
    John Kelley


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