Hey, where’d the Partridge Amendment go? After all the work Senator Jeff Partridge (R-34/Rapid City) did to rewrite his automatic sales tax reduction into the clearer and completely optional tax cut of Senate Bill 86, after the Democrats’ thrilling hijacking of SB 86 into a food tax cut, and after Majority Leader Lee Qualm’s (R-21/Platte) raging and ruthless reaffirmation of regressive taxation, the House last week said, “Forget that! We’re going with the Koch Brothers!” On a 56–8 vote, the House voted to table SB 86 and, as Bob Mercer explains, pin their hopes for some kind of sales tax cut on the Koch-favored HB 1265 from Rep. Chris Karr (R-11/Sioux Falls):
The House set aside Partridge’s SB 86 Thursday night so that Karr’s HB 1265 could be used as the platform for a conference committee to start bargaining.
…The House version from Karr would automatically decrease the rate by one-tenth of one percent for every $20 million of new growth, after being adjusted for the cost of living.
The Senate version from Partridge would let the appropriations committee decide each year whether to recommend the one-tenth of one percent reduction.
The Americans For Prosperity group, whose South Dakota director is former lawmaker Don Haggar of Sioux Falls, favors the House’s automatic reduction [Bob Mercer, “SD Lawmakers Face a Final Sprint to Finish 2019 Session,” KELO-TV, updated 2019.03.11].
The funny thing is, the Partridge Backtrack and the Karr Clawback have merged like Jeff Goldblum and that fly (but without the excitement of Geena Davis). Last Wednesday, House State Affairs hoghoused Partridge’s bill into Karr’s plan, and Senate State Affairs hoghoused Karr’s bill into Partridge’s plan.
So in a nutshell (which no matter what will still be taxed along with food at the same rate as everything else), there’s one sales tax bill left, HB 1265. What ends up in it by Wednesday is anybody’s guess.