South Dakota Legislature Taxes Baseball, Not Pollution

Governor Daugaard thinks we should tax amateur baseball coaches on the work they do for kids. To that end, he vetoed Senate Bill 159. Yesterday, our legislators fell three votes short of overriding that veto in the Senate.

Meanwhile, what don’t we tax? Carbon. Karl Gehrke interviewed economist Yoram Bauman yesterday and learned for us that Vancouver, BC, implemented a carbon tax a few years a go and now is enjoying one of the healthiest local economies in Canada. Bauman said that if South Dakota taxed the burning of oil and coal (and whatever nasty crap comes out of the smokestacks at 3M in Brookings), we could replace half of our sales and use tax, or maybe our contractors’ excise tax.

Bauman says it makes sense to tax undesirable activities, like pollution, and leave untaxed, or at least tax less, desirable activities, like building homes or coaching baseball. Our Governor and Legislature continue to pursue the opposite of sense.


5 Responses to South Dakota Legislature Taxes Baseball, Not Pollution

  1. Paul Seamans

    Here’s an interesting fact: about 20 years ago Mark Michelson teamed up with Bankwest in an effort to convince farmers to sign up as part of an effort to sell carbon credits to major corporations. The carbon credit market tanked and nothing came of it. Maybe Mark is the man to lead the charge on the carbon credit issue.

  2. It’s not surprising as it’s the same, anti-math, anti-common sense that the legislature and executive show by raising passenger vehicle fees and taxes while effectively transferring thousands, tens of thousands to subsidize the heavy trucks that cause 98.7+ of road damage and wear. It’s the same as the refusal to provide public 3rd party audits of the ROI of the GOED and legislative “investment” schemes, giveaways, forgiven and forgivable loans.
    A sharp pencil using junior high math would solve many of the governance problems in this state.

  3. barry freed

    Don’t they tax the smoke and dust pollution in Rapid City by way of DENR Permits to pollute?

  4. There is no good logic as to how South Dakota taxes, especially sales tax. One of the state’s main aims is to find anything remotely “plausible” that they can add a sales tax too. Put a sales tax on that and that and that. And mainly it comes to roost at the door step of those that are using their incomes to live on a day-to-day basis. Half of SF children in school are either using reduced price lunches or free lunches. All this taxing of basic stuff is inordinately sitting on their doorstep. Go figure.

  5. mike from iowa

    Imagine the money the state could collect if everyone who littered at ball games,hockey rinks and all sporting events were fined a hunnert bucks a crack? Then Rounds would retro-actively give the contract to collect fines to Bollen and he would would incorporate himself and keep all the fines in his own piggy bank and no one would be the wiser,again.Deja vu,redux again too still yet.