HJR 1006 proposes to tighten the requirements for raising revenue for the state. Sponsored by GOP Reps. Kristi Noem and Val Rausch and Senator Bob Gray, the resolution would place on our November ballot a constitutional amendment that would raise the bar for new taxes by initiative to two-thirds supermajority. The amendment also expands the supermajority requirement for initiative and Legislature to any new tax or tax increase.
Think South Dakota's budget is a mess now? Just wait 'til you require a two-thirds supermajority to get any new revenue. This amendment would fully Californicate our budget (new state slogan: "brink of default").
This 2001 report on a similar amendment proposed at the federal level outlines several problems with supermajority tax requirements:
- Fixing deficits would come almost exclusively through cutting services rather than taking advantage of available sources of revenue.
- Special interests can easily win tax breaks and make it nearly impossible for the general public to repeal them.
- Loopholes and mistakes in the tax code become nearly impossible to fix.
- The rich get richer and the poor get poorer, since the wealthy benefit more from tax breaks and subsidies, while the middle and lower classes derive more utility from public services.
- Individual legislators have more leverage to dicker for special projects for their districts.
- Contrary to the claims of the Heritage Foundation, supermajority new tax requirements do not improve economic growth.