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Opinion: South Dakota Editorial Roundup

The presidential election is two years away and among the potential nominees being discussed are a woman and an African-American. Nominating either one would be a historic first and something some people say is long overdue.

The presidential election is two years away and among the potential nominees being discussed are a woman and an African-American. Nominating either one would be a historic first and something some people say is long overdue.

For the past several years the Republicans have controlled both the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives. But that could be changing. The Democrats are within striking distance of recapturing one or both houses.

As potential presidential candidates start jockeying for potential runs in the 2008 presidential race, it's possible we could see a history-making candidate appear. Hillary Rodham Clinton has long been mentioned as a possible candidate for the Democratic Party nomination. If she wins, not only will she be the first female presidential nominee for a major political party, she will also be the first spouse of a former president nominated for the presidency in her own right.

Another name is Illinois Sen. Barack Obama. He, too, would be a history-making candidate as the first African-American candidate nominated for the presidency by a major party. A lot can happen between now and the conclusion of the primary season in 2008. But one thing is clear, whether it's in 2008 or beyond, sooner or later chances are we will have a woman president. . .

Watertown Public Opinion

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Besides the tobacco tax increase measure, South Dakota voters will decide two other tax issues at the polls Nov. 7. In both cases, we believe the public should vote "no."

Initiated Measure 8, commonly called the cell phone tax, would repeal the gross receipts tax on wireless communications services. A gross receipts tax refers to a tax paid in lieu of property taxes by small companies and wireless communication companies. This measure would repeal a 4 percent tax that currently generates about $9 million annually from wireless communication firms.

Repealing this tax is a bad idea. Despite claims by proponents that it represents a "double tax" on these firms, it is actually a fair tax. All telecommunication companies pay a similar tax. Initiated Measure 8 should be rejected.

Constitutional Amendment D would base the taxable value of property sold after Jan. 1, 2007, on its so-called "acquisition value." The Legislature can authorize the assessed value of such new property to be adjusted each year up to 3 percent, using the 2003 assessed property valuation as the base year.

Proponents say Amendment D is needed to prevent people from being taxed out of their homes and off their lands, and it protects property owners from higher taxes created by surrounding development.

But Amendment D generates many problems. All property purchased beginning in 2007 will always be subject to higher taxes than neighboring property purchased before next year.

The amendment would hit local governments and school districts hard because they would be handcuffed by the 2003 base-year assessments.

Amendment D has too many negatives working against it and should be rejected by voters.

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Yankton Press & Dakotan

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