Reedy on sales tax task force

Reedy on sales tax task force A new task force created by the state Legislature will study how the national project on streamlining sales taxes would affect South Dakota.

The 15-member task force includes seven citizens selected by the governor and eight state legislators.

The task force will report its findings to the Legislature and the governor by Dec. 1. The streamlining project is coordinated by the National Governors Association and has focused largely on how to address taxation � state and local � on sales of products and services over the Internet. The project also developed model legislation that some states are starting to use to simplify and standardize their sales tax laws.

State and local governments are concerned about the loss of tax revenue as sales increase over the Internet, while "brick-and-mortar" businesses are concerned about Internet businesses having a competitive advantage if customers don't have to pay sales tax on goods and services sold over the Internet.

Internet businesses are concerned that the many different sets of tax rates and exemptions currently in place in the various states and cities would be too burdensome and difficult.

Appointments to the task force include:

Stan Anderson, a Wall businessman; Henry Carlson Jr., a Sioux Falls businessman; Brad Drake, a Watertown businessman and president of the South Dakota Retailers Association; Gary Drewes, deputy state auditor and Pierre mayor; Gene Lebrun, a Rapid City attorney and member of the national panel; Don Peterson, a Yankton businessman and former legislator; and Yvonne Vik of Pierre, executive director for the South Dakota Municipal League. The eight lawmakers chosen by the Legislature's Executive Board include four members of the state Senate: Paul Dennert, D-Columbia; Dick Hainje, R-Sioux Falls; Royal "Mac" McCracken, R-Rapid City; and John Reedy, D-Vermillion. The group also includes four members of the state House of Representatives: Dick Brown, R-Sioux Falls; Mary Glenski, D-Sioux Falls; Jim Peterson, D-Revillo; and Orv Smidt, R-Brookings.

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