South Dakota candidates criticize truck tax

| Thursday, April 25, 2002

Speaking at a state trucking association meeting this past weekend, South Dakota's six candidates for governor all agreed that a 4 percent tax paid by the state's commercial haulers is unfair, according to the Aberdeen American News. Candidates said the tax is a symptom of a larger problem - the need for tax reform.

Candidates said they view the tax as unfair, partly because farmers aren't required to pay as do commercial drivers. They also fear the tax pushes business out of the state as farmers living near the state's border opt for out-of-state trucking to avoid the state's tax. Increasing fuel taxes as a replacement for the truckers tax was suggested as a possible alternative.

Despite the overall consensus to abolish the tax, none of the candidates seemed to expect the tax to be repealed because of a $38 million deficit. "I would love to tell you I will take that tax off," said one of the candidates, "but I can't tell you that."

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