Letters Bring back luxury tax

To the editor:

In regard to taxing the gas � no let's do this the other way around. Lets bring back the "luxury tax" that we had many years ago. If a person had a motor home, or a boat or some other luxury item, they were taxed more when they bought it.

The more expensive the vehicle is the more luxury tax is put on it. Toys should have a higher tax than a car that is necessary to drive to work. Americans have gotten way out of control with their vehicles and then they blame the costs on other nations or the government.

I remember back when the speed limit was set at 55 mph. It saved a lot of gas. Cars were built for economy instead of luxury. That also saved a lot of gas.

Unfortunately they no longer build cars anymore that get 50 miles to the gallon. Someplace along the line being economical was left behind in the hurried world that people seem to enjoy living in; they have to have big fast cars � so you are paying for it.

No, it isn't fair to tax the gas at the pumps. It isn't fair to the people that do drive small cars that get good mileage. So why punish every body.?

Sherryl Joines


Proud of ethanol industry

To the editor:

It's puzzling how Dennis Johnson, a professor emeritus of economics at The University of South Dakota simply sees little value in our ethanol industry, despite his economic background.

Simply put, his ethanol numbers are wrong. South Dakota gives an incentive one-third of what Minnesota offers and one-fifth of what Nebraska does.

Johnson claims it is 40 cents a gallon in South Dakota. But consider this example of an ethanol plant in Aurora: VeraSun produces over 120 million gallons of ethanol a year and receives less than half of a cent per gallon of incentives. As more plants are built in South Dakota, it will receive less per year. In addition, those incentives will sunset in 2006.

Now consider some numbers from the International Center for Technology Assessment (CTA) released in a study in December 1998 quantifying the true costs of oil. The study identified the following federal tax breaks specific to oil:

? Percentage Depletion Allowance: $784-$1 billion per year.

? Non-Convention Fuel Production Credit: $900 million.

? Immediate expensing of exploration and development costs: $255 million.

? Enhanced Oil Recovery Credit: $100 million.

? Foreign tax credits $3.4 billion.

? Foreign income deferrals $318 million.

? Accelerated depreciation allowances: $4.5 billion.

None of this includes the current energy bill which is full of petroleum subsidies.

Finally, it has never been more clear as it is today in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. We are so dependent upon the Middle East for our energy needs. As a corn grower, I am proud the United States ethanol industry will produce over 4 billion refined gallons of fuel this year to help meet our energy needs.


Reid Jensen

Vice President

S.D. Corn

Growers Association

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