According to public radio today, A group of Western South Dakota legislators have signed a pledge to not raise taxes.
Although, at the same time, Governor Dennis Daugaard points out that there is no tax increase planned for the next session.
Lance Russel signs a pledge against tax increases next to the Ronald Reagan statue in Downtown Rapid City Thursday afternoon. Seven legislative candidates aligned with the group South Dakota Citizens for Liberty signed the pledge to abstain from increasing taxes during Governor Dennis Daugaard’s administration.
Russel says the governor’s office has raised taxes substantially in the last two years. But a spokesperson with the governor’s office says the numbers Russel is using are unfounded. Tony Venhuizen says none of the candidates at the event have spoken with the governor’s office about a budget shortfall.
“The governor’s history clearly shows that when he was confronted with a deficit his first year in office he balanced the budget—not through a tax increase but through cuts—and each year thereafter proposed and passed a balanced budget,” Venhuizen says. “The only time new taxes were considered was when it was to add new spending in a particular area, not to balance the existing budget. The council of economic advisors has said we should expect slow growth over the next year. So, that will be what the governor considers as he prepares his budget for next year.”