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House fails to override Noem's veto on hotel tax bill

South Dakota Capitol
Brent Duerre

The House has failed to override a veto from Gov. Kristi Noem striking down a hotel tax bill.

House Bill 1109 increased the maximum tax local governments can charge on some hotels from $2 to $4 per room.

It passed both chambers. Noem vetoed the bill, calling it a tax increase.

The House tried to overturn that veto Tuesday.

Rep. Becky Drury spoke in support of overriding the governor's veto. She said lawmakers should be focused on helping their communities.

"I feel like this is a direct hit on tourism, which is our number two industry in South Dakota," Drury said. "And why we would impede them, I don’t know, I don’t think we should. I think we should let them collect a fairer amount, and it's enabling legislation. It will allow those local governments, the local lodging industry, the local business improvement districts the ability to set their own cap.”

Opponents say the bill introduced more taxes for state residents. Rep. John Mills said he is grateful for the governor's veto.

“I also wanted to make note that I looked up what was the change in the consumer price index since 2005. Its 48%. But the tax we are looking at changing is 100%," Mills said. "Now I don’t know how many of you came here saying I'm gonna double your taxes, but I didn’t. And I'll be voting no and I hope you'll join me.”

Proponents needed a two-thirds majority to override the veto. They fell six votes short.

Josh Chilson is the news director at South Dakota Public Broadcasting. A Florence, S.D. native, Josh graduated with a journalism degree from South Dakota State University. He has worked as a newspaper reporter and videographer, and most recently as managing editor for Dakota News Now. Josh is based out of SDPB's Sioux Falls studio.
Evan Walton is an SDPB reporter based in Sioux Falls. Evan holds a Master’s in English Literature from Southern New Hampshire University and was honorably discharged from the United States Army in 2015, where he served for five years as an infantryman.
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