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SD Voters To Decide Sales Tax Increase

November 29, 2011, 9:58 PM by Don Jorgensen

SD Voters To Decide Sales Tax Increase
SIOUX FALLS, SD - South Dakota voters will decide whether to raise the state's sales tax by one penny. 

The Secretary of State certified that there are enough valid signatures to put Initiated Measure 15 on next year's ballot. While no one likes raising taxes, the group behind the push says it's needed. 

In less than two months, the grassroots organization Moving South Dakota Forward collected more than 28,000 valid signatures to put Initiated Measure 15 on the 2012 November ballot. It only needed 16,000. 

"The number of signatures we turned in tells me people are really paying attention across the state to these two very important services that are basic and necessary across the state," Andy Wiese said.

Those services are K-12 public education and the state Medicaid program. Both suffered huge budget cuts this past year.

Initiated Measure 15 would increase the state sales tax from four cents to five and would generate close to $175 million a year to be split equally to fund the two programs. 

"People want to do something to put back that revenue that was lost in recent cuts, $52 million to K-12 public education and $70 million to the state Medicaid program and realize that is a good investment for the state," Wiese said.

But is raising taxes the best way to do that? Voters will have the final say come next November.

Anyone wishing to challenge the certified signatures has until December 2 to do so.

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