South Dakota Sales Tax Increase Measure, Initiated Measure 15 (2012)
|Initiated Measure 15|
|Type:||initiated state statute|
If supporters' predictions had come true, it would have given schools approximately $725 more per student annually and about $70 million would have been added to Medicaid reimbursement rates per year, according to reports. Additionally, the state would have received $18 million of generated revenue to handle increased Medicaid caseloads.
- See also: 2012 ballot measure election results
The following are official election results:
|South Dakota Initiated Measure 15|
Official results via South Dakota Secretary of State.
Text of measure
The official ballot text reads as follows:
Title: An initiated measure to increase state general sales and use taxes for additional K-12 public education and Medicaid funding.
Explanation: The initiated measure increases the state general sales and use tax rate from 4% to 5%. The additional tax revenue will be split evenly between K-12 public education and Medicaid. The education funds will be provided to school districts based on enrollment, to be spent on improving education as school boards determine. The Medicaid funds will be spent only on payments to Medicaid providers and related state expenses.
The additional funds cannot replace or reduce state funding levels set for fiscal year 2012 relating to existing Medicaid and K-12 public education programs, including state aid to education. Currently, state aid is to be adjusted annually by 3% or the rate of inflation, whichever is less. Under the measure, this annual adjustment cannot exceed the growth rate in state general fund revenues. Any resulting shortfall in state aid will be made up in subsequent years.
A vote “Yes” is for the proposed law.A vote “No” is against the proposed law.
The following is information obtained from supporting side of the measure:
- The group Moving South Dakota Forward was the organization behind the measure.
- The Aberdeen School District stated support for the proposal, when the Aberdeen school board unanimously passed a resolution supporting the measure on September 12, 2011.
- Tea High School Principal Al Laboranti commented on the effects of the measure and how it could help education in the state: "Something had to be done with all the cuts that were made last year, with all the revenue that was lost. We need, you know, to somehow get that money back into our system and I think this would be a great way."
- According to Andy Wiese on the signature gathering effort to place the measure on the ballot: "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."
- Both the South Dakota Farm Bureau and the South Dakota Retailers Association contributed arguments against the measure to the Secretary of State's 2012 Ballot Question Pro Con Pamphlet.
The following is information obtained from sources that stated neither support for nor opposition to the measure:
- The Daily Republic stated its support for the initiative effort, but not the measure in particular. The argument presented pointed out that a majority vote was the best route to decide whether to raise the sales tax educational and medicaid purposes. The newspaper's editorial board stated: "South Dakota’s sales tax hasn’t been increased since 1969. Perhaps it’s time, but maybe not. This issue is best decided by a majority. By signing the petition, we are helping get the sales-tax issue on a 2012 ballot. That’s all. We think it best to sign, since this is an issue of statewide importance and one that deserves to be put before the voters."
- The South Dakota Chamber of Commerce & Industry, according to reports, may not take a stance on the measure. According to Chamber President David Owen, chamber board members differed on the measure's impacts, therefore leaving the group neutral. Owens stated: "We’re concerned that that’s a little overly restrictive in terms of what you’d have as a policy. But, then again, taxpayers want to know where their money is going.”
- In a poll conducted by Nielson Brothers Polling, and released on September 14, 2011, results showed opposition to a 1 percent increase in the state sales tax. The margin of error for the poll was 3.63 percent.
|Date of Poll||Pollster||In favor||Opposed||Undecided||Number polled|
|September 14, 2011||Nielson Brothers Polling||35%||56%||9%||729|
Path to the ballot
According to the South Dakota Secretary of State's website, the sales tax measure was the only initiative effort gathering signatures.
Reports stated that backers of the initiative effort collected enough signatures for the measure, and submitted them to the secretary of state's office on the day of the deadline. The signatures were then validated in order for the measure to make the ballot. According to reports signatures were verified on November 23, 2011 by the South Dakota Secretary of State's office.
- South Dakota Secretary of State, "LRC Comments," accessed August 15, 2011
- Argus Leader, "Petition seeks to place sales tax increase on ballot," August 30, 2011
- South Dakota Secretary of State, "Initiated Measure 15," accessed August 28, 2012
- Aberdeen News, "Put sales tax for schools to a vote," September 14, 2011 (dead link)
- Kelo Land.com, "Educators Hopeful for Measure 15," December 15, 2011
- Kelo Land, "SD Voters To Decide Sales Tax Increase," November 29, 2011
- South Dakota Secretary of State, "2012 Ballot Question Pro Con Pamphlet," accessed September 7, 2012
- Mitchell Republic, "OUR VIEW: Sign petition to get sales tax proposal on the ballot," September 2, 2011 (dead link)
- Yankton Press & Dakotan, "S.D. Chamber May Remain Neutral On Tax Measure," November 30, 2011
- Mitchell Republic, "Poll: Majority of South Dakotans oppose sales-tax increase," September 14, 2011 (dead link)
- Mitchell Report, "Sales tax backers collect enough names," October 31, 2011 (dead link)
- South Dakota Secretary of State, "South Dakota Ballot Question Status for 2012 General Election," accessed November 1, 2011
- Dakota Voice, "SD Sec of State: Sales Tax Increase Will Be on 2012 Ballot," November 23, 2011