AFP SD Director Ben Lee Discusses Stealth Tax Increase on KELO Radio

AFP SD Director Ben Lee Discusses Stealth Tax Increase on KELO Radio

One Penny Sales Tax Proposal Would Result In More Than $150 Million In New Taxes

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — Americans for Prosperity South Dakota Director Ben Lee appeared on KELO Radio to discuss a bill that could increase sales taxes in South Dakota by $150 million. AFP South Dakota has been engaging its network of activists, encouraging them to reach out to their legislatior and urge them to vote NO on this dangerous legislation.

Excerpt from the interview: “South Dakota’s economic advantage is our low tax structure…Any time we consider significant tax increases we’re threatening that and we’re threatening our economic advantage…If every city chose to take take advantage of the ability to add an additional 1 penny sales tax, that would result in more than $150 million in new taxes, which would be far and away the largest tax increase in South Dakota history… This bill has been under the radar and we don’t think enough folks have been talking about it. So we wanted to shine a light on it and talk about how we don’t believe this is good tax policy for South Dakota.”

You can listen to the full interview here.

27 thoughts on “AFP SD Director Ben Lee Discusses Stealth Tax Increase on KELO Radio”

  1. What is all this rhetoric I hear about the more government that’s closer to the people the better off we all are?

    Do Republicans believe that or not? So if the city of Redfield – the majority of the citizens there – vote to increase that tax by a percent to pay for something they wanted to do – shouldn’t Republicans be cheering that?

    Certainly, the acts of a few rogue legislators who want to go contrary to the state’s voters in the last election don’t reflect what the entire Republican party thinks.

    So I say follow the Republican principles. Let the local governments have control closer to the citizens. And that should be good enough.

    Waiting for Troy to give a 15,000 word treatise on why government closer to the people is both bad and good.

    1. “What is all this rhetoric I hear about the more government that’s closer to the people the better off we all are?”

      Simply voices in your head?


      Red herrings?

      Please tell us where you’ve been hearing this!

      1. I wish it was just voices in my head. That concept has been endorsed by about every Republican I have ever met. It’s part of the “Government Bad” mantra.

        Come on, you have even said that yourself. Don’t deny it. Your new name is Red Herring. I have said it so it must be so.

        1. ” That concept has been endorsed by about every Republican I have ever met. It’s part of the “Government Bad” mantra.”

          Maybe it’s because you don’t get out much.

          Name a few mainstream Reps. who have “endorsed” your view.
          Name a few mainstream Reps. who have spoken of your “Gov’t Bad

          You’ve been called out as a strawman creator–pay up or shut up.

  2. What kind of an impact has AFP had on anything at this point? Hopefully they step up their game in the next few days. I also hope that they step up their game in recruiting good legislative candidates to back.

    1. Yea! I see their involvement here becoming a conflict if they start diming out the tax and spend moderates this site likes to support.

  3. There is a strong argument that voting down the Local Control Option of a 1 penny sales tax increase is the real tax increase. For example if Sioux Falls could increase sales tax by penny for their new arena with consent of the electorate they would save tens of millions in interest on their bonds. The net impact is less taxes paid.

  4. I have to strenuously disagree with the characterization that we are opposed to local control; far from it. However, municipal government is not truly local control. In fact, cities are political subdivisions of the state government, and are wholly regulated and controlled by the state ( see Dillon’s Rule). What is appallingly obvious is that this is a power grab by the big cities to divert authority from the state and to displace our economic advantages with the enactment of punitive taxes. AFP should fight this horrible tax and grab strategy of the SD municipal league.

    1. I strenuously disagree with your assertion that a city is not the government closest to the people. According to your statement one could argue the state is just political subdivisions of the federal government. Cities are limited in what they can and cannot do by state government just as state government is limited in what it can and cannot do by the federal government. However the cities do have certain responsibilities. And if the cities want to do a “power grab” from the state, so what? Ultimately I have the ability to vote for or against the tax.

  5. Troy when they attack you for not being pertinent in your assumed timely attack mode are you on defense or offense?

    1. Charlie, he is both. And therein lies the “Beauty of Troy Jones.”

  6. I see that Americans For Prosperity (AFP) has an ad here touting the repeal of the “Death Tax”. This idea is promoting “prosperity” alright, but just not for you or me. I may be a Republican but I do like to see a touch of fairness in the tax code.

    Since Social Security is capped, the wealthiest among us pay less than 1 percent of that tax. Since income taxes are levied when the wealthy declare capital gains, they may not have to pay those. And if the estate tax is repealed, they won’t have to pay yet again. There already is a $5,000,000 dollar exemption before taxes are paid so let’s not pretend that this is for family farm preservation. (If that is a family of five, its five millionaires!)

    Generation after generation, millionaires and billionaires won’t pay. But you will. And I will. Work hard for $40,000 and you will pay plenty in taxes. Inherit 40 billion dollars and your lifetime rate for these taxes could be near zero. The wealthy can simply buy the mansions, yachts and cars and put the rest away for the kids and grandkids. They do not have to pay taxes like the little peeps. Yes AFP, that’s prosperity.

  7. Cities are corporations and are not political subdivisions of the state. County’s and townships are are political subdivisions and many of their functions and reason for existing are dictated by state government. Cities are required to do very little by the state, they are a wholly separate unit of government people form when they live to damn close to each other. That is why they are afforded even more (local) control and flexibility when dealing with funding and other authorities. This is civics 101 AFP Forever..
    I’m teater on being a libertarian or republican but on this issue AFP is wrong, and misleading the public with their 150 million BS..

    1. I agree that AFP’s pushing of this $150,000,000 figure is less than honest. It’s likely that a minority of communities would make use of the option so it would be a whole lot less than that amount.

      Insultingly obvious exaggeration. Why build a case on such a weak foundation?

    2. It is obvious to me that the cities control the state. Local control is not rural folks and tourists spending money in our cities and paying sales taxes that end up in the pockets of special interests. It is more correctly called coveting.

    3. Planning, gone so wrong. Read up on your Dillon’s Rule. Read up on your South Dakota Associated School Boards v. City of Colman. Political subdivisions, municipal corporations, whatever. They are units of the State.

  8. I think AFP was accurate “if every city” did it the total would be $150mm. Whether or not they do it is speculation but with passage the state clearly is authorizing such an increase.

    At minimum, AFP is being more honest than the proponents of this legislation.

    Further, an minimum, it would be reasonable that the economic center cities and those highly tourism dependent would adopt it (free money paid by people who don’t live in that city).

    My guess is over $100mm would be raised in those cities and possibly as much as $120mm. The City of Sioux Falls collects $53 million a year from 1% in sales tax.

    1. Another important fact is taxable sales was up 4.5% in 2014. Cities should have plenty of cash coming in. This is just another liberal tax and spend agenda item. As if road taxes wasn’t enough for the liberals.

      1. I’m sorry Steve, but you are dead wrong. Road taxes (more appropriately called “USE TAXES”), is not a liberal issue. It’s as conservative as it gets in funding what is a CONSTITUTIONALLY based program. No other function of government enjoys such an esteemed position in our founding documents. So I reiterate, the concept of paying for what you use is not a liberal position.

        You sound like someone who wants someone else to pay for all the benefits you enjoy. If you drive, you pay. If you don’t drive, it doesn’t have as much impact (yet you still have clothes, food, guns, ammo and all the other stuff you like to buy, at your disposal) because others are willing to pay those fees. I wish it were so, but things don’t just magically appear on the store shelves or in your mailbox. Somebody has to get them there. That somebody usually comes on a road.

        I find it sad that we keep telling ourselves it’s not necessary to fund these needs. Imagine if Eisenhower and others wouldn’t have refuted this logic. You’d still be driving around with your horse and buggy.

        1. “Road taxes (more appropriately called “USE TAXES”),”

          Road taxes are NOT “use taxes”.

          Come back wen you have the basic facts.

    2. The article states: “urge them to vote NO on this dangerous legislation”.

      Seriously? “Dangerous” and “$150 million”.

      Come on.

    3. This kind of tax is used all over the country as a way to get other people to pay taxes. Have you been to Minneapolis lately? See how much tax you pay on a hotel. If Sioux Falls can convince its citizens that a project is needed and a tax to pay for it, what is wrong with that? I have voted against and for different bond issues. The same can happen. BTW, I think AFP is exaggerating the amount that will actually happen. Potential is not fact.

  9. “Local control, local control, local control” they all scream. Everyone espouses the benefits of local control. And when local control rears up and says, “Yes, we agree,” they all run around in circles trying to find reasons why local control wasn’t what they really meant. Sorry, we only meant local control was good when we decided it was good.

    Municipalities have been fighting this nonsense in Pierre for years. Hysterical how when asking for more money to fund needs, school districts are told it’s a local control issue and to go fix it themselves. So when cities have a mechanism to do just that, to fix it themselves, it’s somehow miraculously not a local control issue any longer. Bunch of damn hypocrites.

    Whoever above said that R’s should be cheering this kind of funding mechanism, is SPOT ON!

    AFP Forever seems to be arguing with himself. “I strenuously disagree.” Over ruled. “But wait, I strenuously, strenuously disagree.” It doesn’t get any more local than a local community, friend.

    1. The most wonderful thing about this entire proposition is that the Republican stance – fiscal responsibility, like sh**, runs down hill – is fine until someone wants to give the plumber some tools to deal with the sh**.

      Another Republican principle that works like a charm every single time…

    2. ““Local control, local control, local control” they all scream. Everyone espouses the benefits of local control”

      Sounds like another strawman manufacturer!

      Who are these people who are “screaming” about local control on sales taxes?

      PLEASE, name a few mainstream folks who are screaming about that.

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