Republican blogger John Tsitrian has consistently voiced his support for a state income tax in South Dakota. Tsitrian restates his case now in the context of underperforming state sales tax revenues, arguing that we need a third leg on the taxation stool to stabilize state revenues:
Consider this: swings in commodity prices make farm state revenues subject to the vagaries of global markets. By now we should have reached a point where dependence on sales taxes needs to be reconsidered as a primary revenue source. Throw in the growth of e-commerce and you’ve got a situation like the present one, where the only surprise is the fact that so many people are surprised.
We really need to think about another source of state revenues, which in this case is income. Even as our sales taxes have turned into a serious floppola this year, median income in South Dakota has been rising. Though hovering slightly behind the national growth rate during the last 5 years, South Dakota median household income (per BHKN) has nevertheless risen steadily during that period. Taxes raised from income would have avoided the sudden lurch we’re currently experiencing [link modified; John Tsitrian, “Time for South Dakota to Institute an Income Tax,” The Constant Commoner, 2016.11.26].
Notice that Tsitrian does not punctuate his headline with a dodging question mark. He means it: South Dakota needs and income tax. Of course, Tsitrian is a Republican, and he isn’t running for office, so he doesn’t have to listen to the advice we Democrats get to keep quiet about sensible fiscal policy that’s good for South Dakota’s working class.