Which one of the four would you vote for?
by State Rep. Tim Goodwin
Greetings! Let’s start off with a big “Whew!” as the election is over. Some states are still tabulating which makes no sense to me. In South Dakota we do not have our voting machines hooked up to the internet, so it is IMPOSSIBLE to hack the voting machines. A hard copy of the ballot is kept on hand and can be audited at any time. The voting machines are just a faster automated way of tabulating the votes.
Listed are four areas we could implement the extra revenue South Dakota is realizing, basically from a booming economy. Of course, the conservative point of view is that if extra taxes are collected over and above what was budgeted, the excess tax should go back to the taxpayers. The other view is to grow government. So, here are the 4 areas where we could use the extra tax dollars.
- Eliminate tax on groceries.
- Eliminate video lottery.
- Pay for Medicaid expansion.
- Reduce home assessment values by $100 thousand.
Let’s go through each one, shall we?
- Eliminate tax on groceries. Some call this food tax, but that would include restaurants. The estimated $100 million is counting only groceries. One question I always ask when some group approaches me about eliminating grocery tax is, “Why do you want to do this?” The answer I’ve always received was, “because of the poor people.” OK, fair enough. However, poor people don’t pay tax on groceries, and for that matter, get their groceries for free via food stamps, now called EBT cards.
- Eliminate video lottery. Yep, the video lottery casinos on every corner. Not Deadwood. Just the casinos that have video lottery machines. The state gets 50% of the profit and the proprietor gets the remaining 50%. I just have a hard time with our state running on losses from those who can least afford it. That being those addicted to video lottery. This is dirty money (in my opinion) and could be eliminated with this extra revenue.
- Pay for Medicaid expansion. Yep, this was a ballot measure that passed in the General Election. Initially, there are federal funds, but eventually, as early as next year, the federal government is going to pull the rug out from under the states, making each state responsible for funding Medicaid expansion.
- Reduce home assessment values by $100 thousand. This, again, is about $100 million. I included this one in here because of the Summer Study on Property Tax. The committee came up with this solution. I personally would like to eliminate Property Tax totally with a usage tax, but that’s an article by itself in the future.
The 50-dollar question is, “If it was up to you, which one of the four would you vote for?” You can email me at [email protected]. Just pick 1, 2, 3, or 4. If you want to explain your reasoning, that would be great, but not necessary.
To the citizens of South Dakota and to the men and women in uniform, in honor of all who served, in respectful memory of all who fell, and in great appreciation to those who serve today, Thank You, for giving me the opportunity to represent you.
Representative Tim R. Goodwin
Lt. Colonel, U.S. Army, Retired