Mickelson proposes tax hike on tobacco for 2018 session.

Apparently, Speaker of the House Mark Mickelson has been a busy man. In addition to his proposals on keeping ballot measures to be in-state affairs only, he’s also proposing a significant increase in what South Dakota’s would pay for taxes on tobacco products. From the Argus Leader:

South Dakota should hike taxes on cigarettes to help bring down tuition at the state’s technical institutes, Rep. Mark Mickelson said Monday.

The Sioux Falls Republican submitted two proposals this month to the Secretary of State’s Office that would increase the tax on tobacco from 35 percent on wholesale products to 45 or 55 percent and bump up the prices on cigarettes. Up to $20 million of the revenue could then be used to lower tech school tuition and provide scholarships.

Mickelson, who helped spearhead a 2016 effort to recognize tech schools as separate from K-12 schools and universities in the South Dakota Constitution, said the effort is essential to making the schools more competitive in the region.

Read it here.

Sin taxes are easy targets for legislators who want to raise money for projects, because they don’t affect everyone at large, but I question how many republican legislators will want to sign on to a tax increase in an election year… Much less cast a vote in favor of raising taxes without seeking funding possibilities from other sources.

There were a couple legislators whose support of raising taxes for teacher pay knocked them out, and more money for teachers had been sought for literally decades.  Tech schools being on their own is a brand new development, and it is questionable if they have sufficiently made their case to the public yet.

Stay tuned on this one. The big issues for the 2018 session are already starting to form.

10 thoughts on “Mickelson proposes tax hike on tobacco for 2018 session.”

  1. Mickelson has voted for virtually every tax increase that has come before him during his term in office. And now he proposes another? His behavior last session hurt him. This won’t help.

  2. I would be curious to know the estimated additional taxes that they believe would come in on the increase percentage. Would it rise to the level that tech schools would get funding? I understood from Belfrage that the first $30 million would go into the general fund and then the next funds ($5 million I think it was) would go to smoking prevention and THEN tech schools would get a cut. If that is in fact the case, it is a bit disingenuous to push it as a tax to help tech schools.

  3. How about expenses first before thinking that they can just increase a tax, any tax? Raising taxes isn’t going to win friends for anyone advocating for this, especially a GOP candidate (or supposedly GOP?).

  4. We seem to be saddle the smokers with taxes to pay for everything. Maybe because they are only 22% of the population. Maybe we should put an extra tax on any vehicle that costs over $40,000 or an added property tax on any home that is more than 2500 sq ft. Those taxes Mickelson would have to pay, but he could really afford to pay it. Those examples are probably as ridiculous as his sticking it to the smokers . . . of which I am not one.

  5. State run schools charge tuition. But that tuition does not cover all of the costs. Does anyone know what percentage of actual costs tuition covers? Do the technical schools get equal treatment by the state for tax dollars subsidizing student tuition? I usually do not like to see tax increases, especially on one group of people. Before I would even consider it, I would like to know a few more facts.

  6. Mickelson never met a tax increase he didn’t like. He’s a progressive with an “R” after his name and barely different than a democrat. There are a number of those Republican progressives in our legislature and we need to call them out at every opportunity. As progressives are prone to doing, Mickelson is taking aim at a group of people whom he believes won’t get sympathy from the rest of the voters. The problem is that if we allow these people to target one group, when do WE get targeted. And as another person has opined, the distribution of the taxes is deceptive. Educate yourself before you jump on this new tax bandwagon.

  7. Can’t we just be hard-working SDakotans for awhile. Tax increases are coming at us from all directions; please, give it a rest.

  8. Another stick it to the poor tax. I’m surprised there isn’t an effort to help “offset” this tax with a property tax cut.
    This is exactly how big taxes and big government takes root. Pretty soon the 15 minimum wage will be here because we keep jacking up the cost of living exponentially for the working poor. Gas tax, car tax, license tax, sales tax, now tobacco tax which not too long ago skyrocketed. Next will be alcohol. The Democrat party will get their narrative real quick if this keeps up. Knock it off with the taxes already!!

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