Repeal of truckers’ tax fails to pass in House

Repeal of truckers' tax fails to pass in House by Andrea Skalland A bill that would repeal the trucker�s tax failed to pass the House Feb. 3.

Rep. Jerry Apa, R-Lead introduced a bill that would get rid of the sales tax on services provided by truckers.

�The tax was created in 1995 and was estimated to raise $13 million for the state. Last year it collected $2.2 million,� Apa said.

According to Apa, the state is losing business because of this tax. He said that many truckers end up paying for the tax themselves because the people they are delivering products to will not pay the tax.

Jerry Wheeler of the South Dakota Retailers Association told the House Taxation Committee Feb. 2, that small taxes like these hurt the retailers of the state. He said with taxes like these things end up in a complicated mess over who should collect the tax and what to do if someone is overtaxed.

�This is a complicated tax that is hard to collect,� Wheeler said. �It is the third or fourth broadest tax in the nation.�

Scott Peterson of the Department of Revenue told the House Taxation Committee the department does not favor repealing taxes on things that are taxable.

Peterson said this tax was created as part of a package for property tax relief and it has raised $2.7 million this year.

Rep. John Koskan, R-Wood, wondered where replacement money would come from if this tax was repealed.

�If we repeal this tax, then next year we will be asked to repeal another tax and soon we won�t be able to pay for the people of South Dakota,� Koskan said.

Apa said the growth within South Dakota�s economy would care for the loss in revenue and didn�t think it would hurt the property tax relief effort.

�If $2.2 million is gong to ruin the property tax relief package, then we have built a castle on a foundation of sand,� Apa said.

The committee passed HB1065 with a vote of 7-5, but a vote of 28-38 killed the bill in the House.

Rep. Ron Volesky, D-Huron announced his intention to reconsider the vote.

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