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House, Senate reach deal on delivering sales tax cut

Conference committee on reducing the overall sales tax rate
Lee Strubinger
Conference committee on reducing the overall sales tax rate

Legislative leaders have reached a deal on cutting the overall state sales tax.

A conference committee agreed Thursday on a proposal to reduce sales tax by point three percent for four years.

That would result in a $104 million dollar cut.

Republican State Representative Chris Karr is the main proponent on reducing the overall sales tax rate.

”A four-year sunset gives us some time to—for those that have some anxiety about the future, hopefully we can get through a year and we can go, 'Okay things look good. Let’s remove this, we don’t need it. This is meaningful. We’ll have enough organic growth. We’ll be able to keep meeting our obligations and our needs,'" Karr said. "That would be my hope.”

House lawmakers have been firm in reducing the overall sales tax rate down to 4.2 percent.

Senators have voiced concern about declining revenue and a ballot question proposal to remove the sales tax on food. Senators pushed for the sunset clause on the sales tax.

The proposal passed the conference committee 5 to 1. It now heads to both chambers for approval.

This deal allows appropriators to hammer out the final details of the state budget, including funding the Big Three above the governor’s recommendation.

Lee Strubinger is SDPB’s Rapid City-based news and political reporter. A former reporter for Fort Lupton Press (CO) and Colorado Public Radio, Lee holds a master’s in public affairs reporting from the University of Illinois-Springfield.