The complete text of the initiated measure is as follows:
Title: An initiated measure to increase state general sales and use taxes for additional K-12 public education and Medicaid funding.
Explanation: The initiated measure increases the state general sales and use tax rate from 4% to 5%. The additional tax revenue will be split evenly between K-12 public education and Medicaid. The education funds will be provided to school districts based on enrollment, to be spent on improving education as school boards determine. The Medicaid funds will be spent only on payments to Medicaid providers and related state expenses.
The additional funds cannot replace or reduce state funding levels set for fiscal year 2012 relating to existing Medicaid and K-12 public education programs, including state aid to education. Currently, state aid is to be adjusted annually by 3% or the rate of inflation, whichever is less. Under the measure, this annual adjustment cannot exceed the growth rate in state general fund revenues. Any resulting shortfall in state aid will be made up in subsequent years.
“Yes” is for the proposed law.
“No” is against the proposed law.
South Dakota is one of the handful of states which has no income tax. This fact makes the state attractive to people and businesses. Some of the other states which have no income tax make up for it by have sales taxes (city and state) which exceed 10%. I find no value in increasing the sales tax above where it is for the reasons expressed in the measure. As I have previously noted in this space, the two areas which are to benefit for the sales tax seem to be based on an attempt to cobble together sufficient supporters from the group of Peter to warrant stealing from Paul: that is, people in education or who benefit from education and those who benefit from Medicaid. If there is to be a sales tax increase, then the increase should be borne by all for the benefit of all. This measure does not do this.
Constant Conservative recommends a “No” vote on Initiated Measure 15.