South Dakota Cattlemen’s Association outlines legislative ag interests
The 2016 Session began on Jan. 12 with the Governor’s State of the State address. As expected, the biggest item of interest was his suggestion that the state sales tax be increased by half a cent, to boost teacher pay across South Dakota. South Dakota first implemented a sales tax in 1935, at two percent, increasing to three percent in 1965 and four percent in 1969. It has remained at four percent for the past 47 years, except for two temporary increases to five percent – one in 1980 to buy railroad property, and one in 1987 to establish the REDI fund. Currently the sales and use tax is projected to contribute about $873 million to the state’s coffers. Estimates from the governor’s staff projects that a half-penny increase in the sales and use tax would generate over $107 million in annual revenue that could be used to increase teacher pay and reduce property taxes.
The Ag Land Assessment Task Force advanced several bills, including:
SB 4 allows a person to request their local director of equalization classify native grassland or land that has been seeded to perennial vegetation for at least 30 years and used for animal grazing or left unharvested as non cropland;
SB 3 revises the definition for “agricultural” land for tax purposes by revising income criteria (gross income equal to at least 10 percent of the assessed value of the bare land) and including a management unit definition;
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HB 1007 seeks an appropriation of $175,000 to SDSU to update SD Dept. of Revenue production data and assess impact if additional factors are considered in determining “highest and best” use. Currently, highest and best use only accounts for what is physically possible and the task force’s recommendation is to also consider what is financially feasible (accessibility, market access, marginal productivity, risk) and what will provide maximum profitability (long-term sustainability, environmental practices, etc). HB 1007 was referred to Joint Appropriations (no hearing date at the time of this writing).
Throughout the summer, a task force has been working to create awareness and support for the Animal Disease Research and Diagnostic Laboratory (State Vet Lab or ADRDL). The Governor’s proposed budget included a $1.575 million transfer from the Animal Livestock Disease Emergency Fund to provide funding to continue planning and design work on ADRDL upgrades, including a biosafety level III space. SDCA policy supports upgrading the ADRDL and we continue to be involved with the Governor’s Office and other stakeholders in identifying funding strategies for this key component of our state’s livestock economy.
The County Government interim committee brought forth several pieces of legislation including:
HB1002 which will eliminate unnecessary reporting requirements for the county general fund. House passed 66-1;
HB 1003 seeks to repeal obsolete administrative functions. House Local Government Do Pass;
HB 1006 would have authorized a referable optional 1 percent county sales & use tax outside city limits. It was defeated by House State Affairs on a 10-2 vote; and
SB 2 which would revise the $14 M annual alcohol beverage tax distribution from 75 percent state/25 percent cities to 50 percent state/25 percent city/25 percent county. SB 2 has passed out of Senate Local Government and awaits floor action.
Following the 2015 Session, Senator Cammack and Representative Duvall co-chaired an ad hoc group reviewing the state’s corporate farming laws. The member organizations of Ag Unity and others were asked to distribute a survey to their producer members and the results of that survey indicated the law is irrelevant or a non-issue for most ag producers. The primary issues are access to capital, land availability/prices, and regulations in general (county zoning, permitting and EPA). The group is evaluating whether to make any changes to current statute.
Current state law requires that every fence across a navigable stream must have a gate so as not to restrict access in the stream. A Davison County citizen petitioned the Water Management Board to remove portions of Firesteel Creek from the state’s list of navigable streams. The Legislature’s Rules Review Committee overturned the Water Management Board’s decision. Potential legislation would assert legislative authority by removing the Water Management Board’s current authority and codifying the current list of navigable segments.
SDCA Bill List
HB 1007 makes a $175,000 appropriation to revise and update the values and methods used to determine the agricultural land production capacity and to declare an emergency. Representative Duvall, Senators Peterson (Jim), at the request of the Agricultural Land Assessment Implementation and Oversight Advisory Task Force. Referred to House Appropriations. Passed.
HB 1018 defines manipulated manure as related to commercial fertilizer and soil amendments. The Committee on Agriculture and Natural Resources at the request of the Department of Agriculture. Referred to House Agriculture and Natural Resource. Scheduled for hearing 01/19/2016. Ag and Natural Resources pass 13-0. House Pass 67-0.
HB 1019 revises provisions related to milk sampling and grading licenses and tester and grader licenses. The Committee on Agriculture and Natural Resources at the request of the Department of Agriculture. Referred to House Agriculture and Natural Resources passed 13-0, consent passed House passed 67-0.
HB 1024 requests a $250,000 appropriation for the maintenance and repair of state owned dams and to declare an emergency. The Committee on Appropriations at the request of the Commissioner of School and Public Lands. Referred to House Appropriations. Passed.
HB 1037 to revise certain provisions concerning petitions for initiated constitutional amendments, initiated measures, and candidates. The Committee on Local Government at the request of the State Board of Elections. Referred to House Local Government.
HB 1043 to revise the state aid to special education formula. The Committee on Appropriations at the request of the Bureau of Finance and Management. Referred to House Appropriations. Passed 62.
HB 1044 revises the state aid to general education formula. The Committee on Appropriations at the request of the Bureau of Finance and Management. Referred to House Appropriations
HB 1054 authorize the production and sale of industrial hemp. Referred to House State Affairs. Ag & Natural Resources passed.
HB 1058 revise the procedure for recovery of abandoned mineral interests. Referred to House Judiciary and scheduled for hearing, January 22.
HB 1064 apply certain penalties regarding damages, tampering, and malicious acts to certain railroads that carry passengers. Sponsors Representative Verchio and Senator Monroe.
HB 1068 adopt the South Dakota Nonprofit Corporation Act. Referred to House Judiciary.
HB 1071 revise certain provisions regarding the annual conference between county commissioners and the director of equalization. Referred to House Local Government.
SB 3 revises the income criteria for determining if property is classified as agricultural land for property tax purposes. Senator Tidemann and Representatives Qualm at the request of the Agricultural Land Assessment Implementation and Oversight Advisory Task Force. Referred to Senate Agriculture and Natural Resources.
SB 4 provides for the assessment of certain agricultural land as noncropland. Senators Peterson (Jim) and Representatives Duvall at the request of the Agricultural Land Assessment Implementation and Oversight Advisory Task Force. Referred to Senate Agriculture and Natural Resources.
SB 12 authorizes the Board of Regents to sell certain extraneous real property in Brookings County and to deposit the proceeds with the state treasurer to be credited to a fund designated as the real property acquisition and capital improvement fund for South Dakota State University. The Committee on Appropriations at the request of the Board of Regents. Referred to Senate Appropriations.
SB 16 increases fees for nursery inspection and to declare an emergency. The Committee on Appropriations at the request of the Department of Agriculture. Referred to Senate Appropriations. Referred to Joint Committee pass 62.
SB 18 requests continued support for $1 million expenditure authority for Coordinated Natural Resources Conservation Fund. Joint Appropriations hearing held Tuesday, January 19. No action taken because, as noted above, the Committee cannot yet vote on bills. Parties apply for project grants from this Fund. While $500,000 plus interest automatically deposits in the fund each year, the Department of Agriculture must have expenditure authority to spend the funds.
SB 23 would allow School & Public Lands 5 years to complete a land exchange instead of the current 2 so that SPL has time to negotiate with the federal land managing agency.
SB 35 updates references to certain federal motor carrier regulations. The Committee on Transportation at the request of the Department of Public Safety. Referred to Senate Transportation. Scheduled for hearing 01/20/2016.
SB 36 revises certain fees and the allocation of fees collected by the secretary of state, to make an appropriation therefor, and to declare an emergency. The Committee on Appropriations at the request of the Office of the Secretary of State. Referred to Senate Appropriations. Referred to Joint Committee passed 6-2.
SB 49 revises certain fees collected by the secretary of state, to revise the allocation of fees, to make an appropriation for an online business registration and filing system, and to declare an emergency. The Committee on Appropriations at the request of the Office of the Secretary of State. Referred to Senate Appropriations. Referred to Joint committee passed 6-3.
SB 56 Requires legislative approval of all land acquisitions by the Department of Game, Fish and Parks. Referred to Senate State Affairs S.J. 84.
SB 58 Revises certain restrictions for the use of night-vision equipment for hunting under certain conditions. Referred to Senate Ag and Natural Resources.
SB 59 Revises certain provisions regarding the application of the special annual road funding levy. Referred to Senate Transportation.
SB 62 Requires manufacturers of farm machinery and equipment to replace the machinery or equipment or to refund its purchase price if it fails to conform to the manufacturer’s warranty, to specify the manufacturer’s obligations to remedy any nonconforming conditions, and to provide cause of action against the manufacturer for failure to comply.
SDCA members are encouraged to contact Jodie at the SDCA office at 605.945.2333 or firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions regarding SDCA’s legislative issues.
Useful Contact Information:
SDCA Office: 605-945-2333
House Lobby: 605-773-3851 (to leave a message for your Representative)
Senate Lobby: 605-773-3821 (to leave a message for your Senator)
Additional information regarding the bills, legislative committees, etc. can be found on LRC’s website at http://legis.state.sd.us.
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