SD should reduce tax exemptions

The headline in the Dec. 5 edition of the Rapid City Journal read, “Governor: Money's tight for South Dakota state budget.” He explained that tax revenues are roughly $8.3 million below expectations due to a shortage of sales tax receipts, which are the state's main revenue source.

On the evening news channels, he and some legislators mentioned the shortage is due, in part, to not collecting sales tax for online purchases. The figure is estimated at $50 million. No mention was given regarding sales tax exemptions offered to industries in South Dakota that also might be contributing to the shortage. Andy Gerlach, the Secretary of Revenue, prepared a report in January 2013 that estimated lost sales tax revenue of $600 million. The report was updated in July 2015 and the lost sales tax revenue doubled to $1.2 billion. $50 million doesn't look like much money when you compare it to the $1.2 billion give away.

I recommend that legislators look at the sales tax exemption list for added revenue in 2018 before raising taxes. I'm not suggesting all should be eliminated, but a 10 percent reduction would generate $120 million in 2018. Don't ask me for a tax increase in 2018.

Rick Brady

Rapid City

Business taxes cost all of us

In my opinion, what is being missed in the tax cut debate is that business taxes are a hidden tax on the individual one way or another. In reality, only individuals pay taxes.

When the government increases business costs in order to stay in business, businesses increases prices, offer fewer jobs, increase automation, don't increase wages or offer more part-time instead of full-time work in order to comply with federal mandates. These taxes and onerous regulatory costs likely hurt the poor and unskilled inexperienced worker the most.

Also, individuals, when business taxes are less, who have 401(k)s or 403-Bs are likely to receive better returns and wages may finally increase, particularly if the oversupply of labor is also decreased at the same time.

Minerva Bordeaux

Rapid City

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Commissioner Hadcock a strong leader

Whether you like her or not, there is one thing about Pennington County Commissioner Deb Hadcock — she is not indecisive. Deb maintains a strong sense of determination and "get it done” attitude. She also has the ability to drive and motivate others to help in whatever issue she pursues.

Mrs. Hadcock is dedicated to doing what is best for the taxpayers and the county and has shown the ability to listen to all sides and work to do what's right.

Thank you Commissioner Hadcock for representing not only the city folk on your commission but also us rural folks. We need more commissioners like you.

Daniel Warren


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