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Senate fails to override 'Deadwood dollar' veto

PIERRE — A governor's veto is difficult to override, as Sen. Bob Ewing learned Wednesday.

Ewing tried and lost in his attempt to pass legislation that would have allowed Deadwood to charge another dollar of tax on hotel and motel rooms.

The Senate voted 16-19 for the override, falling eight ayes short of the 24 necessary for the two-thirds majority required.

The result: SB 98 is dead. Deadwood will remain at the $2 maximum occupancy tax as the rest of South Dakota.

Ewing said he felt like "an old mule" hitched to the wagon trying to pull the Deadwood bill back out of the Senate again.

The Senate voted 18-16 for the bill the first time.

The veto issued Tuesday by Gov. Dennis Daugaard was the first -- and so far only -- one this legislative session.

Daugaard said he doesn't want taxes raised and Deadwood could use an opt-out to raise property taxes instead.

An opt-out would be subject to a local referendum while the extra dollar wouldn't be.

Ewing called it a self-imposed tax Wednesday.

"Unfortunately it has the dirty little word of tax in it," Ewing said.

Ewing finished his remarks by saying he would make time for other speakers on the bill.

No one else stood up.