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Sales Tax Break Based on Remote-Vendor Revenues Still Uncertain

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.


  1. Adam 2019-03-11 22:59

    IF they let our sales tax increase by as little as 0.0000001%, I will throw a Big Government fit which will be heard by all – for all the ages to come. I don’t care about the fees, make them as high as you want, just DON’T YOU EVEN THINK ABOUT increasing my taxes!

  2. Adam 2019-03-11 23:01

    Failure to lower taxes is always a disguised Liberal Agenda to increase them!

  3. Adam 2019-03-11 23:04

    Can anyone else see how the common conservative argument to ‘starve the big government beast’ is just a ploy for anarchy?

  4. bearcreekbat 2019-03-12 13:19

    Time for a tax rant. Did you ever wonder what the reason is for supporting tax cuts? How many of us, especially republicans and conservatives (e.g., libertarians and similar conservative groups), would love to see a society where no one paid any taxes?

    Or is the true desire for these later groups, and even for some liberal folks, just finding a lawful way to avoid paying one’s individual taxes, coupled with the unspoken realization that someone, somewhere, still should be required to pay taxes to cover the costs of the services expected from our government. If so, such an attitude certainly is not consistent with any public policy to cut taxes.

    There seems to be no rational reason to advocate tax cuts for the sake of tax cuts. Advocating tax cuts because current tax revenue exceeds the actual cost of necessary government services makes perfect sense. But it should be obvious that is not the case in the federal system, given the size of our national debt.

    Indeed, politicians who advocate tax cuts typically do not contend that current tax revenue exceeds needs. For example, John Thune wants to completely eliminate the federal estate tax on estates exceeding $10 million dollars, despite the fact that our national debt keeps growing, but never claims we have excess federal tax revenue coming in. And Kristi Noem promises no tax increase without mention of the sufficiency or insufficiency of the revenue our state needs to pay the increasing costs of current state obligations, let alone to pay for such things as teachers salaries or nursing home costs.

    It seems that too often republicans and conservatives simply refuse to explicitly acknowledge a need for any government taxation. Yet even these folks support some public services, especially those government functions that might personally benefit them, such as police and fire protection.

    Some implicitly acknowledge the need for revenue with the odd argument that reducing taxes will increase tax revenue. Even though this experiment has proven to be factually incorrect, the argument is repeated from time to time. Yet there remains not the slightest acknowlegment that taxation is a beneficial public policy worth everyone’s support.

    Bottom line is that just about any rational group logically must conclude that some taxation is a good thing or a positive public policy worthy of unconditional support. Indeed, unless they desire anarchy or chaos, rational folks recognize that some government services will always be needed. And the cost of these services necessarily must to be paid with funds or labor taken from others.

    I have not seen anti-taxers come up with a better way to extract money or labor from others than taxes. In ancient times some groups supported themselves by invasion or war, seizing stolen property or labor from defeated foes. The Bible evidenced such a public policy with the example of Moses ordering the slaughter of defeated Midean men, parents, and non-virgin girls, while seizing Midian property and virgin girls to be slaves and concubines. Fortunately, for now in the USA such inhumane policies seem temporarily out of favor (this may be changing given the current public policy of seizing and caging the children of hispanic families caught crossing the border in the hope of gaining freedom, safety and economic opportunity).

    So, can any conservative out there admit that taxation is a good thing and that we should impose sufficient taxes to pay for needed public services? Or will they simply stand by the odd proposition that “taxation is bad” and constitutes “theft” from unwilling victims?

    Perhaps if both sides could just recognize that taxes are a good thing, politicians like Thune and Noem would stop with the stupid mantra of “no more taxes.” Such self destructive attitudes could be replaced with a more rational consideration of what the current functions of government cost and whether current taxation policies raise too little, enough, or more than enough revenue to pay these costs. While we can all acknowledge that not everyone can agree on what government functions we should undertake, it would seem that everyone ought to agree that we must pay for all current functions that voters have decided are appropriate for our government. Raising the funds to do so by taxation is good public policy that benefits everyone.

    End of rant.

  5. o 2019-03-12 13:39

    Bearcreekbat: “So, can any conservative out there admit that taxation is a good thing and that we should impose sufficient taxes to pay for needed public services? Or will they simply stand by the odd proposition that “taxation is bad” and constitutes “theft” from unwilling victims?”

    SD has elected and continues to elect to our state legislature candidates who believe the 16th Amendment is unconstitutional. Let that sink in: an amendment to the Constitution is unconstitutional. That is how rabid the anti-taxers are. Their pledge to uphold the Constitution of SD is secondary to their pledge to Grover Norquist to never raise taxes.

  6. mike from iowa 2019-03-12 14:14

    Shoot, I was of the belief only wingnuts paid taxes because they claimed Dems love to spend other people’s money.

    Burn them with brimstone, Brother bcb.

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