Sen. Vehle claiming Governor ‘a little too frugal’ on roads. Is he kidding?

Apparently yesterday’s quote of the day belongs to State Senator Mike Vehle:

“I’m grateful we have a governor who recognizes the need,” Sen. Mike Vehle, R-Mitchell, said.  Vehle paused, then presented the other side of his opinion.

“(The governor) likes to be frugal. Maybe he’s a little too frugal.”


Vehle said Daugaard left out the committee’s proposals to expand the wheel tax from a maximum of four wheels to 12 and didn’t address any additional revenue from hybrid and electric vehicles.

The governor also didn’t endorse a tax on dyed-diesel fuel used in agriculture implements. The committee had proposed a new tax of 7 cents per gallon that had many farmers and ranchers on edge.

Read it here.

Part of politics is having the ability to recognize what you can achieve might be better than nothing at all. So I’m a little puzzled at Vehle’s statement.  Senator Vehle was backing the largest package of tax increases in state history – over $100 Million in new taxes. In talking with legislators and lobbyists, I heard only one thing in reference to it, and it was consistent:  D.O.A. 

The previous package proposed was Dead On Arrival. There was no way that frugal (yes, frugal) South Dakotans would support that kind of massive tax increase. I’ve even heard some question whether just voting for the package as part of the interim committee could be used as a future campaign issue.

Enter Governor Daugaard who – recognizing the proposal’s inability to move forward – chose not to publicly strip the bark off of the committee. And he politely noted that some elements of it might move forward, which they did as he proposed his own plan, one that might stand a chance at passage.

So, color me confused over Vehle’s complaining that the Governor is bringing an alternative that actually has a chance of passing as being “too frugal.”

Or maybe I’m wrong. What do you think?

20 thoughts on “Sen. Vehle claiming Governor ‘a little too frugal’ on roads. Is he kidding?”

  1. There are a LOT of people who are tired of the ag industry automatically getting tax exclusions. Of course, the farmers and ranchers aren’t going to like it. But if they are businesses, they should be able to step up and act like the rest of the businesses in the state.

    But, of course, machine politics will end up dictating exactly what will happen.

  2. Color you confused ? What color were you when Thune”s first words on a Sunday show in the Majority were about a tax increase ?

  3. Even though the dyed fuel revenue went to the county bridge & road fund the farm & ranch groups went ballistic . They complain about both but do not want to help pay for any improvements . That being said the Govs. plan is at least supportable .

    1. Farmers and ranchers would be able to pay towards roads and bridges if 70% of our property taxes didn’t have to subsidize education funding in this state.

  4. Reagan has on his desk something that said to the effect “there is no limit to what you can accomplish if you don’t worry about the credit.”

    Vehle should just accept the fact he got the conversation started and got people thinking long-term and significant. Having the Governor conceptually supporting the concept means legislators don’t have to worry about making a lot of tough votes only to have the Governor veto what is passed.

    That said, while willing to support a big tax increase to do a comprehensive fix of our transportation system, I’m unwilling to support anything until I see and understand how it fits into more than the existing 5 year plan.

    I want to see what our highway system will look like in 50 years so I have confidence this is actually a long-term fix and not a big expenditure without regard to the long-term future.

    1. Troy,

      Try to think of a veto from this governor. Try even harder to think of a veto from the last governor. If I am wrong, huzzah, but I do not think you are going to find an example. The governor does not need to sweat an intransigent legislature, because he spoon feeds the part time reps. and senators. Besides, our legislature is so lock-step to the governor that they would not think to do something that would get a veto. Oh, and to lay on the table or take no action does not count as a veto. Good luck!

  5. The legislature should treat all affected areas equally. No exceptions for anyone.

    Daugaard set the standard with cuts at 10%. Why are some entities now too good to share in this sacrifice especially when the rural groups are doing plenty of damage to the roads.

    Treat everyone the same or don’t raise taxes. Currently the proposal is a regressive tax that I don’t like.

  6. Maybe the philosophy should be that if it goes down a pubic road it needs a license. If it has a motor, it would need a vehicle license. If it was being towed, it would need a trailer license.
    I have five tractors so that would be five licenses and also the wheel tax and the highway patrol fees.

  7. Vehle’s plan, while difficult to pass, tried hard to share the pain equally. Why should ag get a free pass on this?? They get next to a free pass on property tax already.

    Those county roads were designed and built when your grandpa was driving a John Deere B on them. Now they have huge equipment, and at least one or two semis per farm.

    I even heard one farmer that had the gall to blame it on “road hunters” while he was charging some out of state group about $500 a gun to hunt on his land.

    Legislators should grow a pair, and quit throwing around labels like DOA until they have a better answer. The Governor’s bill has a better chance of passing that Vehle’s, but I give the man credit for taking on the problem, and looking for a solution.

  8. “A tax increase! A tax increase, is the answer!” said the conservative Republican NEVER..

  9. Anon 7:06 you do not know anything historically speaking about our legislature. Go back to what Gov DD promised the voters of SD in his first Gubernatorial election. No New Taxes!! He Delivered and VETOED a head strong bill containing a new tax on fertilizer most Ag Groups backed.

    Anyone who thinks the SD Legislature is in Lockstep with whatever the Governor wishes has been AWOL. What Troy Jones said above though is in the best interest of moving forward with plausible outcomes of forward thinking legislation.

    1. Charlie,

      Which bill? Which year? C’mon Charlie, was it while you were in the legislature? It must have been a Republican bill, cause there aren’t enough Dems to pass anything. Fuss and feathers is one thing, but without substance, the earlier point would still stand.

      1. Senate Bill 115

        Sponsors: Senators Krebs, Frerichs, Lucas, Maher, Monroe, and Tidemann and Representatives Peterson, Bartling, Cammack, Craig, Cronin, Duvall, Hoffman, Munsterman, Olson (Betty), Parsley, Qualm, Schrempp, and Solum
        Purpose: increase the commercial fertilizer inspection fee for purposes of fertilizer-related research and to create the Nutrient Research Education Council to promote such research.
        Date Action Audio Location
        01/23/2013 First read in Senate and referred to Senate Agriculture and Natural Resources S.J. 165
        01/31/2013 Scheduled for hearing Audio Available 01:02:35
        01/31/2013 Agriculture and Natural Resources Do Pass, Passed, YEAS 9, NAYS 0. S.J. 301 Audio Available 01:02:35
        02/05/2013 Senate Do Pass, Passed, YEAS 30, NAYS 5. S.J. 331 Audio Available 1:14:22
        02/06/2013 First read in House and referred to House Agriculture and Natural Resources H.J. 326
        02/26/2013 Scheduled for hearing
        02/26/2013 Agriculture and Natural Resources Do Pass, Passed, YEAS 12, NAYS 1. H.J. 540
        02/27/2013 House of Representatives Do Pass, Passed, YEAS 48, NAYS 15. H.J. 583 Audio Available 3:22:01
        02/28/2013 Signed by President S.J. 630
        03/04/2013 Signed by Speaker H.J. 689
        03/05/2013 Delivered to the Governor S.J. 660
        03/25/2013 Vetoed by the Governor S.J. 757 Audio Available 09:42
        03/25/2013 Veto override, Failed, YEAS 22, NAYS 13. S.J. 758 Audio Available 09:42
        03/25/2013 Delivered veto sustained to the Secretary of State S.J. 759

      2. You have no point. Go to the Legislative Research Council website, and you will find many vetoes, mostly of republican bills.

  10. Rep. Verchio if you polled every Ag group They would come up with a supportive plan on how best to include Ag Machinery into the new tax structure. A one or two cent tax on dyed diesel is doable.

  11. If it’s coming then all groups need to be paying in. Tired of the farmers complaining when it’s in their interest as well. Just be fair.

    1. There is no such thing as fair. Only who has the votes. And what it cost to get them.

  12. The wheel tax for up to 12 wheel should be mandatory if those counties who want to receive any funding from the road & bridge fund.

    Can we require higher license fees for large trailers? They are doing all the damage to the roads.

    I am also sick and tired of seeing all these farmers driving their huge machinery on our roads, but they don’t contribute any license fees. I think the farmers and ag need to share the burden with the rest of us.

  13. Anon1,

    The “lack of a point” is also ignorant.

    Many potential vetoes are avoided because the Legislature and the Governor discuss the issue, find common ground, compromise and what is passed is satisfactorily acceptable to both the Governor and the Legislature, even if neither got exactly got what they wanted.

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