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.
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?