S.D. Cattlemen’s Assoc. legislative wrap-up | TSLN.com

S.D. Cattlemen’s Assoc. legislative wrap-up

Jodie Hickman
SDCA Executive Director

We are at the end of the Main Run of the 2015 Legislative Session with only Veto Day left on March 30. By far the biggest issue legislators dealt with this year was road funding. HB 1131 was the Governor's road and bridge funding proposal which was ultimately sent to the 41st Legislative Day (there is a maximum of 40 days per session). SB 1 originated as the bill proposed by the Interim Committee on Highway Needs & Financing and, following several hearings and amendments, it has been signed by the Governor. SB 1 includes an emergency clause, which means the increases in fees and taxes will take effect as quickly as possible, rather than July 1.

SB 1 will generate about $85 million in new annual revenue for roads and bridges by:

• Increasing the motor vehicle excise tax from 3 percent to 4 percent ($27.2 million);

• A one-time increase to the motor fuel tax of $.06 ($39 million);

• A 20 percent increase in license plate fees ($14.8 million);

• Increasing license fees for noncommercial ag trucks from 60 percent to 70 percent of the commercial rate ($2.5 million);

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• A one-time increase to the ethanol tax of $.06 ($2.25 million);

• Allowing counties to raise the wheel tax from $4 to $5 per wheel and increasing the number of wheels taxed from a maximum of 4 to a maximum of 12;

• Allowing counties to assess a maximum of $.60 to $1.20 per $1000 of taxable valuation based on a sliding scale of the total taxable valuation in the county;

• Allowing townships to assess up to $.50 per $1000 dollars of taxable valuation.

HB 1201 was introduced by Representative Mickelson in an effort to encourage economic development in South Dakota by allowing local governments to have flexibility in their zoning and conditional use permitting processes. SDCA supported the measure since Confined Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs) are one of many industries that are required to obtain a conditional use permit (CUP) from the county.

The three main components of HB 1201 include: 1) allowing local leaders in counties and municipalities to include a site certification program in their local zoning ordinances to certify land for certain uses which require a CUP; 2) clarifying the authority of local Boards of Adjustment to make decisions regarding CUPs; and 3) allowing the county or municipality to decide if a CUP must be approved by a 2/3 vote or a simple majority of the governing body.

In his testimony, Representative Mickelson pointed out that CAFO permits make up a mere 1 percent of requests for CUPs at the local level. This underscores the fact HB 1201 will serve as an economic development tool for local governments to potentially attract a wide variety of industries that require a CUP, not just CAFOs. HB 1201 was signed by the Governor and will become law on July 1.

SDCA also worked with a coalition of organizations to secure funding for a study on the economic impact of valuing property taxes on their actual use, as opposed to the "highest and best" use according to the soil survey. SB 4 sought a $151,000 appropriation to SDSU's Economics Department to analyze the potential impacts of basing ag land property values on actual use. Unfortunately, the Department of Revenue and several crop groups opposed the study, so SB 4 met its demise in the Senate on a vote of 16-18.

SDCA supported two Brand Board bills, SB 75 and SB 76, which have been signed by the Governor. SB 75 changes the effective period of a rodeo transport inspection certificate from the calendar year it is issued to a twelve-month period from the date of issuance. SB 76 changes the livestock ownership inspection certificate validity to 24 hours instead of the date of issuance.

More information about these bills or other to contact your legislator, visit the Legislative Research Council's website at http://legis.sd.gov/. For more information about SDCA, visit our website at http://www.sdcattlemen.org.