House Delays Education Sales Tax Debate
Debate on a possible tax hike to fund education is stalled in the State House until next week. Educators who support more money for teacher pay packed the gallery at the Statehouse. As Representatives started work on part of a new education plan for South Dakota, discussion stopped when a fraction of lawmakers invoked a special rule.
House Bill 1182 is the funding mechanism for Governor Dennis Daugaard’s education plan. It raises the sales tax one half of one percent to benefit teacher salaries and offer some property tax relief. The measure passed unanimously out of committee earlier in the week with more than an hour of testimony in favor of the bill.
Members of the House of Representatives began debate on 1182 with Blue Ribbon Task Force co-chair State Representative Jacqueline Sly.
"We looked at several options for funding sources including state sales tax, seasonal sales tax, rural sales tax, cigarette and alcohol taxes, corporate income tax to include bank franchise tax. What we found is that the state sales tax was the most proven, stable, and has potential for growth," Sly says.
Some lawmakers tried to amend the bill to strip an emergency clause that initiates the tax hike ahead of the typical July 1st start. That failed. Another lawmaker introduced a second amendment to the bill. Right after initial remarks, State Representative Jim Stalzer addressed the chamber.
STALZER: Mr. Speaker, I would like to invoke Joint Rule 5-17.
WINK: Representative. Stalzer would like to invoke Rule 5-17; is he support? Those who would like to basically delay action on the amendment for one intervening day… He is supported.
Speaker Dean Wink counted more than one-fifth of lawmakers who agree to the delay. That means House members have to wait until Tuesday at the earliest to resume debate on the amendment and on the education funding measure House Bill 1182.