Dave Owen, president of the South Dakota Chamber of Commerce and Industry, gave local business and political leaders an entertaining preview of issues lawmakers will tackle when the 2012 legislative session swings into action next month.
Hop-scotching through the issues during a noon luncheon meeting at Pizza Ranch, Owen said two public referendums will be of major concern in 2012, namely the added 1 percent sales tax that will be on the November ballot and the repeal of House Bill 1230, which will go on the ballot as Referred Law 14.
The added 1 percent would be used to raise additional funds for education and state Medicaid funding.
The Referred Law 14 referendum, a veto measure, was spearheaded by the state’s Democrats. It would repeal HB1230, which would otherwise go into effect on Jan. 1, 2013.
That law will set aside 22 percent of contractor excise revenues into a special large project development fund. It would be up to the state Board of Economic Development to decide which projects — $5 million or greater — would receive money from the fund.
“We’re not opposed to, or in favor of, the 1 percent sales tax increase,” Owen said, “but we’re critical of the procedures in that law for the long term.”
The roughly $170 million that would be gained from the added 1 percent is exclusively reserved for education and additional Medicaid funding would be tightly restricted, he said.
“We understand that money is important for the people doing that campaign, but we also understand that long term, to leave the Legislature so little control over the budget is not wise,” Owen said.
So the belief that the Chamber is a conservative organization should be put to rest with the admission that they are not opposed to the sales tax increase. Their problem is that they don't have control over how it is spent through their lobbying and campaign contributions. In 2008, IM10 was to reform those two abuses, but the Chamber joined forces with the far-left NEA to oppose IM10. If that is not enough evidence to show the corruption of the political process in Pierre, then look at the Chamber's position in HB 1230:
He said the state chamber is against repealing HB1230. “We’ll be asking people to vote ‘yes’ on Referred Law 14,” he said. (A yes vote would be a vote to veto the repeal.)
South Dakota has taxes on capital projects that are higher than most other states, he explained.
“This would allow the governor to offset some of those taxes so (businesses) can get up and running and South Dakota doesn’t lose for expansions of local manufacturing because of the cost of that tax,” he said.
State Sen. Mike Vehle, R-Mitchell, also remained hopeful that HB1230 would not be repealed.
“We do need the ability to bring businesses into our state and that money has been used wisely,” he said, especially for some businesses in the Mitchell area.
So when it comes to the sales tax issue, the Chamber says the legislature should control how it is spent, but when it comes to excise tax, the legislature should be bypassed and contol should be placed in a committee of business specials interests under the direction of the governor. Clearly the political positions of the SD Chamber of Commerce is not based on conservative principles, but instead based on what is best for its big corporate special interests.
Anybody want to guess who provides Senator Mike Vehle with campaign contributions? He talks about economic development when the government spends the money, by fails to talk about the harm done to the economy when taxes are collected and taken out of the economy. The SDGOP's brand of capitalism is not conservative based free markets. It is a fascist form of socialism that uses government to pick winners and losers. And the bigger you are, the more likely it is that you will be picked to be the winner. The losers are small business, taxpayers, and the consumers. Amazing how we let the economy suffer by allowing the corrupt to control the economy in the name of creating jobs through economic development. It is all deception and lies. Yes, we are on the Road to Serfdom.
Anybody hear of corporate socialism?