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Push To Get Sales Tax Increase On Ballot

October 25, 2011, 4:57 PM by Nicole Winters

Push To Get Sales Tax Increase On Ballot
SIOUX FALLS, SD - A group pushing to add a penny sales tax to the November 2012 ballot to support K-12 education and Medicaid is getting close to its deadline.

The grassroots coalition, Moving South Dakota Forward, needs 16,000 valid signatures by next Tuesday, November 1.

"We've been putting in some very long days; it seems like seven days a week," Moving South Dakota Forward organizer Andy Wiese said.

Andy Wiese and volunteers across the state have been asking South Dakota voters to sign a petition that would put a measure on the November 2012 ballot to add a penny to the states sales tax. That tax, which could generate up to $175 million a year, would be split equally between K-12 public education and Medicaid.

"I’m cautiously optimistic; I like where we're sitting right now.  Certainly the mail has been coming in and we've been having people drop off petitions in our office," Wiese said.

Moving South Dakota Forward has exactly one week left to collect 16,000 valid signatures. They're using the last few days to make one final push for support.

"We’re also shaking every final tree we can and making sure if you want to sign, there are opportunities available," Wiese said.

While Wiese believes they'll reach that 16,000 mark in time, the group is also collecting more signatures to make up for any potential errors. It means long hours and hard work that Wiese says will be worthwhile if the voters get the power to decide.

"Ultimately, it's going to be the people of South Dakota deciding on this issue where is the future of education?  What is the future of health care funding going to look like?" Wiese said.

If enough signatures are collected, Wiese says the group plans to spend the next year campaigning for the measure.

If you haven't signed the petition, but would like to, you can find more information at South Dakota Moving Forward’s website.

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