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Tuesday, December 23, 2008

New Bills: Highway Task Force, License Fees, REDI...

It's like Christmas a couple days early! Here are today's highlights and no-lights from the goodies under the prefiled bills tree at the South Dakota Legislature:
  • House Bill 1006: After a summer of diligent study, the Interim Committee on Highway Needs and Financing feels South Dakota's roads (and road taxes) need... more study. HB 1006 would creat a task force whose final report would be due at the end of 2010. "Create a task force"—sounds like code for, "We'd rather twiddle our thumbs for a couple years than make any hard choices." Hoghouse, anyone?
  • HB 1007: Who needs a task force? Some of the Republicans sponsoring HB 1006 already see the need to raise "certain noncommercial motor vehicle fees." (See also Senate Bill 10, which would increase the motor vehicle excise tax from 3% to 4%, and SB 11, which would eliminate fee reductions for certain older vehicles.)
  • SB 5: District 8's first big sponsorship of the session! Newly minted Senator Russell Olson puts his name atop some good old form and style amendments on Tourism and Economic Development legislation. The only apparently substantive change: elimination of an exemption for South Dakota high school and university graduates from one-to-one matching requirements for Revolving Economic Development and Initiative fund loans.
  • SB 8: A bill to cap license fees for electricians and landscape architects. (You need a license to be a landscape architect?) The bill also caps the fee for members of technical professions to place their license on inactive or retired status. Strange: if you don't pay your deactivation fee, the state terminates your inactive status... which means you're still active... unless you fail to be your license fee... in which case you're inactive... o.k., I'm sure there's some legally sensible reason for that one.
We still eagerly await Representative Gerald Lange's updated corporate income tax legislation to follow up on the trailblazing work our Republican legislators have done in forging income taxes for banks (the franchise tax) and farmers (see SB 3). Stay tuned!

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