Bill To Add Two Dollars To Driver’s License Renewals For Transit Systems Killed By House Committee

(KCCR) — A bill that would have raised the cost of a South Dakota driver’s license two dollars to 30-dollars was killed by the South Dakota House Transportation Committee Tuesday. The two-dollar increase would have gone to help support transit systems in South Dakota. Eight proponents testified in favor of the bill. Deputy Revenue Department Secretary David Wiest was the only opponent on behalf of the Governor’s Office…

“The two dollars does not go to the Department of Public Safety to reimburse it for the driver’s licence.  Legally, the two-dollars is for a general revenue purposes, therefore two-dollars is a brand new tax.  That’s what we have here.  House Bill 1183 imposes a brand new tax, there is no getting around the fact.  That is following what our South Dakota Supreme Court has told us how to discern between a tax and a fee. Now, we know that the Governor’s position on new taxes is quite clear.  The Governor is opposed to any new taxes and I am opposing this bill because it is a brand new tax.”
Bill sponsor Representative Roger Chase of Huron used his rebuttal to draw on his personal experience with using transit systems to bring his own parents to medical treatments out of town…

“If the only opponent is two dollars and who we assess it to and do we call it a tax or a fee, I don’t care.  But this bill is personal to me and I think all of us to realize that we’re sitting around this counter…We’re privileged and because of that fact I hope you help me move this bill forward and I hope you pass 1183.”
Significant committee discussion centered what the definition of the proposed cost increase would be. With testimony nearing an hour and 15 minutes, Committee Chair Representative John Mills needed to conclude testimony. Representative Tim Goodwin wanted more time and debate…

“Well because I don’t know what I’m voting for here; if I’m voting for a fee or a tax.  I’m not against the concept here, but I need to know one way or the other and because you decided not to let me find that out, I’ll be voting against the bill.”
A do-pass motion failed on a six-to-seven vote. A second motion was made to send HB-1183 to the House floor with no recommendation however Representative Mary Duvall made a substitute motion to send the bill to the 41st legislative day. That motion was approved on a seven-to-five vote.