Legislators sign tax pledge, Gov says unnecessary 

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.”

Read the entire story here.

17 Replies to “Legislators sign tax pledge, Gov says unnecessary ”

  1. Springer

    So projected slow growth, i.e. less income generated for the state coffers. Maybe this pledge is just to head off which could again be some group coming forward saying that they need increased funds, i.e. increased taxes, and then the governor will allow a tax increase because of the slow growth. If there are projected shortfalls in the revenue, then the state govt had better look at the things it currently spends money on and tighten those budgets. I know there are employees in positions they are unqualified for, I know that there are many ways to save on state travel. Maybe this pledge just serves notice that the voters do NOT want any more tax increases.

  2. grudznick

    Mr. Russell, who is insaner than most, and the young lady behind him who is even insaner than he, are signing their meaningless pledge in front of a fine breakfasting establishment where the Conservatives with Common Sense often meet. I wonder if this locale was chosen to show what little common sense and grasp of reality these 7 candidates (not all in the legislatures just yet) have.

  3. Liberty Dick

    Are Venhuizen and Daugaard the dumbest people on the planet? They raised taxes plain and simple. Russell pledges not to. To call Russell’s statement “unfounded”??? Really??? How short of a memory does he think we have? Someone schedule a mental health evaluation for Daugaard and Venhuizen. (Maybe even a room in Redfield.) Alert Matt Michels he may be getting a full time job.

  4. Rep. Mike Verchio

    Once again showboat time for D – 30’s attack legislators who have no ideas to help the shortfall in revenue . This what happens you don’t vote in the primaries Lance the puppeteer .pulls the strings of his not a clue gang .

    1. Rep Chip Campbell

      It is pretty simple Mike. Less spending by Government. Apparently we didn’t learn our lesson in 2010 when you and the rest of the Legislature were forced to cut spending by 10 percent across the board to balance the budget.

  5. Anonymous

    If we are already looking at shortfalll…we sure don’t need to pass 22…and further hamstring the budget

  6. Anonymous

    The Rapid City CVB and BID board want to raise the BID tax to 3%. There will plenty of opportunities to vote no on new or higher taxes this session. We will see which legislators avail themselves of that opportunity.

  7. Anonymous

    Doesn’t go far enough. Repealing the 1/2 penny tax hike should be a priority. Local control and local support. Don’t need the state government getting involved in local issues.

  8. Ree

    Daugaard has backed the biggest tax increases in this state in the last two years. Rep. Russell voted against both the highway tax in 2015 and the half penny sales tax increase in 2016. I wish Daugaard and his son-in-law were gone, but South Dakota is stuck with these liberals for two more years.

    1. JIm Bryan

      Agreed…. Once he is term limited, his true beliefs come out. He is a fraud!

      At least we got rid of Sly in the primary!