OUR VIEW: Sign petition to get sales tax proposal on the ballotReaders may be approached in the coming days and asked to sign a petition that may result in a 2012 election to raise the sales tax in South Dakota. We suggest signing that petition.
By: Editorial board, The Daily Republic
Readers may be approached in the coming days and asked to sign a petition that may result in a 2012 election to raise the sales tax in South Dakota.
We suggest signing that petition.
The proposal would see the state sales tax rise from 4 percent to 5 percent and is sponsored by members of the South Dakota Association of Healthcare Organizations and the state teachers union. The wording of the petition was approved earlier this week, and backers of the idea expected to hit the streets Thursday or today. They need 15,855 signatures by Nov. 1 to get the proposal before South Dakota voters next year.
Times are tough in South Dakota. We understand that.
But by asking consumers to pay another penny per dollar on their purchased goods, the state could see immediate dividends to the tune of an estimated $180 million per year. Under the terms of the petition drive, half of that would go to K-12 education, and the other half would go toward Medicaid funding.
Of the latter, $70 million would be used for reimbursing hospitals, nursing homes and other providers, while about $20 million would be used to cover anticipated growth in Medicaid use, according to a recent report by The Associated Press.
Earlier this year, the state Legislature cut K-12 funding by 6.6 percent and reimbursements to Medicaid providers by 4.5 to 11.5 percent.
South Dakota’s sales tax hasn’t been increased since 1969. Perhaps it’s time, but maybe not. This issue is best decided by a majority.
By signing the petition, we are helping get the sales-tax issue on a 2012 ballot. That’s all. We think it best to sign, since this is an issue of statewide importance and one that deserves to be put before the voters.