SD lawmakers give extra tourism tax second life; will run into 2013PIERRE — South Dakota’s additional one-half percent of sales tax on tourism-related purchases won’t expire June 30 as previously scheduled. It also won’t become permanent as Gov. Dennis Daugaard wanted — at least not yet.
By: Roger Wiltz, Republic Capital Bureau
PIERRE — South Dakota’s additional one-half percent of sales tax on tourism-related purchases won’t expire June 30 as previously scheduled. It also won’t become permanent as Gov. Dennis Daugaard wanted — at least not yet.
The Legislature gave final approval Wednesday to a compromise that extends the tax through July 1, 2013, and keeps the overall rate at 1.5 percent until then. That’s two more years than lawmakers said it would run when they first passed it in 2009.
The legislation, HB 1248, now heads to the governor for his signature after an unusual journey.
The proposal originally reflected the governor’s intention that the tax would become permanent, rather than sunset this summer. House members passed it that way last month on a 64-3 vote.
The Senate amended it, however. Following the lead of Sen. Ryan Maher, R-Isabel, senators refused to go along with making the tax permanent. Instead, they voted 27-7 for a new expiration date of Dec. 31, 2012.
That drew state Tourism Secretary Jim Hagen into the fray. House members refused to agree with the Senate and sent the issue to a conference committee for negotiation.
The three House members were Republican majority leader David Lust of Rapid City, Republican Chuck Turbiville of Deadwood and Democratic assistant minority leader Mitch Fargen of Flandreau.
The three senators were Republican majority leader Russ Olson of Wentworth, Republican Eldon Nygaard of Vermillion and Democratic assistant minority leader Jim Hundstad of Bath.
On a 5-1 vote, the compromise July 1, 2013, date was chosen. Hundstad cast the no vote.
The Senate adopted the conference committee’s report Thursday 27-8, after Senate Democratic leader Jason Frerichs of Wilmot unsuccessfully challenged Republican Lt. Gov. Matt Michels’ ruling that a simple majority was needed for passage rather than a twothirds majority.
A similar challenge met a similar result in the other chamber later in the day, when House Democratic leader Bernie Hunhoff of Yankton rose against the simple-majority ruling by House Speaker Val Rausch, R-Big Stone City.
House members then voted 67-2 for final passage.
The one-half percent was added to provide more promotional money for the state tourism office and to help fund the state arts council and the state archaeological resources office.
The current plan would also provide money for the state Cultural Heritage Museum in Pierre.