Number 9Volume 108February 28, 2013
By GvernrDennis Dagaard
Many states tax the sales of goods. A few also tax services.South Dakota has a broad-based,four percent sales tax on nearlyall goods and services.Because past legislators andgovernors have maintained thebroadness of the tax, it is a steady,reliable source of revenue, even intimes of economic distress.Broadening this tax base helpedGov. Janklow cut property taxes 30percent. Taxing the sales of abroad array of goods and servicesalso helps our state avoid an in-come tax.However, an ever-present temp-tation exists to ask for exceptions.Interest groups come to Pierreeach year to argue for a tax exemp-tion on their particular goods orservices. They are supported bytheir lobbyists and members.These exemptions do not havepolicy goals, other than relieving aparticular group from paying salestax. They are not designed to at-tract new economic activity orhelp create jobs.Some interest groups have bet-ter arguments than others, butone fact is always true: Each timean exemption is created, it benefitsa narrow group at the expense of all other South Dakota taxpayers.Even if some exemptions aresmall, the principle of a broad-based tax is violated.Each time an exemption iscarved out, there is less revenuefor priorities like education,healthcare, or economic develop-ment.
Eroding our broad tax base
For each exemption, we send amessage to the next interest groupthat they also should try to avoidpaying sales tax.I vetoed legislation last yearthat would have exempted thesales tax on hay for livestock bed-ding.Several exemptions have beenproposed this year, including cer-tain coaching services, some rodeoadmissions, and sales of usedtruck tires. Certainly these arevery small exemptions, proposedby groups for whom I have empa-thy.Still, I must oppose the erosionof our broad sales tax base throughrepeated, minor exemptions thatignore our overarching policygoals.I truly believe that we shouldstrive for more
or higher rates.Spreading the burden amongmany makes each one's burdenlighter.We should not continue to chipaway at our steady, broad tax base.It’s easy to agree with eachgroup and make an exception "justthis once." But we must be vigi-lant against it.Voters, taxpayers and the pub-lic in general don’t have an associ-ation, interest group, or lobbyists. As your Governor, I believe it’smy responsibility to speak for thepeople. It’s my job to work on be-half of the unorganized manyagainst the interests of the organ-ized few.Let's keep our tax rates low byasking everyone to share in the re-sponsibility to pay.
by Larie Hindman
Wall City Council held a specialmeeting at the Wall CommunityCenter meeting room on Tuesday,
The Washington Nationals’ presidential mascots stopped for avisit at the Wall Drug Store on Tuesday, February 19. The groupwho was invited to South Dakota by The Black Hills, Badlandsand Lakes Association also stopped by Mount Rushmore tocheck on their faces. The video footage that was taped whilethey were in South Dakota will be played during future baseballgames.
~Photo Laurie Hindman
February 19.Council member Stan Andersonwas absent from the meeting.The meeting was delayed a fewminutes until Council memberRick Hustead arrived, withoutHustead there would not havebeen an accurate vote for the reso-lution.In order to proceed with the pur-chase of the Dunker property thecouncil approved Resolution 13-03and the Dunker plat. Pete Dunkerabstained from the vote.Finance Officer Carolynn Ander-son noted that the final paperworkwill be registered with the court-house by the City’s Engineer TedSchulz.Anderson also said the financecompanies are working on thematter.With no other business themeeting was adjourned.
Council holds special meeting
In last weeks paper about theflood at the Wall Drug, itshould have said that SiteWork Specialist installed a wa-termain during last years mainstreet project not a fireline.Sorry for any inconvience thismay have caused.
Presidents make a stop in WallWVFD repsonds to chimney fireat the Merlin Doyle residence
The Wall Volunteer Fire Department responded to a chimney fireat the Merlin Doyle residence on Wednesday, February 20. Thefire was caused by a build up of creosote in the chimney. “Thefire burnt out and did not cause any damage to the home other than it got a little smokey”, said Wall Volunteer Fire Chief JimKitterman.
~Photo Ann Clark
Members of the Wall SchoolBoard were honored by the Houseand Senate at the Capitol on Tues-day for receiving the 2013 ASBSDSchool Board Award of Excellence.Wall board members received astanding ovation in each houseand were thanked for their excel-lent service in their district. Theevent coincided with the ASBSD’sLegislative Day.Wall School Board developed avision of “a district of innovationand inspiration striving for aca-demic excellence.” As part of thevision, the board has focused oncontinued support of technology byputting a laptop computer in thehands of each student in the 6-12grades, provided a monthly maga-zine for parents and communitymembers detailing classroom proj-ects and continued to develop as aboard through training.The board’s work has resulted ina variety of distinguished awards,including being recognized by theSouth Dakota Department of Edu-cation as an Exemplary Elemen-tary and High School and as a Na-tional Blue Ribbon School by theUnited States Department of Edu-cation.To be considered for the award,school boards must provide dataand evidence that board actionsled to improved student achieve-ment.ASBSD Executive DirectorWade Pogany and Leadership De-velopment Director Julie Ertz pre-sented board members with aplaque and $1,000 cash award,which was generously provided byBankWest, at an event at the
Wall School Board honoredby the house and senate
school in January.ASBSD is a private, non-profitassociation representing morethan 880 South Dakota schoolboard members, the 150 school dis-tricts they govern and the studentsthey serve. Our mission is to ad-vance public education by empow-ering local school board leadersand advocating for a thriving pub-lic education system.
Wall School Board members. Pictured back row: from left toright ... Kevin Bielmaier, Todd Trask and Scot Eisenbraun. Frontrow: from left to right ... Carolynn Anderson, Pam Johnson andMary Williams. (not pictured Spencer Cordes.)
by Cris AndersonNew Underwood Post
What keeps a humble man athis profession for over 37 years?What drives someone to clock inand out doing the same tasks dayin and day out for a career? If youask New Underwood’s First Inter-state bank’s vice president andbranch manager, Larry Graham,it’s all about the people.“I am going to miss the peoplethe most,” stated Graham duringhis morning banking routine.“That’s been the neatest partabout working my career in ruralbanks. The people are very down-to-earth people. They simply are just good people.”Graham began his career in thebanking industry in Chugwater,Wyo. “I started there in 1969. Wewent through a name change andwhen I left Chugwater, it was FirstNational Bank of Chugwater.”Growing up south of Winner,Graham enjoyed the rural atmos-phere. “I then worked in the WallFirst Western Bank beginning in1976 and was employed there justshy of 12 years as vice presidentand cashier,” explained Graham. “Inever was interested in the titles,”stated Graham. “I told them theycould call me the janitor if theywanted as long as they left thecash on the table,” joked Graham.In 1988, the New UnderwoodFirst Western Bank, now knownas the First Interstate Bank, wel-comed Graham on board as vicepresident and bank manager andthe community benefitted fromGraham’s involvement of many of the community’s active groups likethe New Underwood Lion’s Cluband New Underwood EconomicDevelopment Committee. “The 37years comes in with the FirstWestern Bank and First InterstateBank name change,” explainedGraham.Through the years, Graham hasseen incredible changes. “When Istarted, they almost had the stonetablets,” commented Graham jok-ingly. “The biggest change of course has been the automationand technology. Technology, tech-nology, technology. Just think backto how it has changed. In Chugwa-ter, we had financial calculatormachines that took up a large partof the desk,” stated Graham. “Nowwe have hand-held things. Thetechnology has been amazing.”Through the years, it is onlynatural to have a few things thatpush your proverbial buttons.“Lately what has been grinding myteeth is the changes in all of thebanking regulations,” complainedGraham. “They change them to tryand benefit the people when allthey do is really make it worse forthe people. The toughest area rightnow for the rural banking industryis housing loans. South DakotaBankers Association did a surveyrecently, and almost every ruralstate bank does not do home loans.The penalties and regulationsmake it very difficult if the bankmesses something up,” stated Gra-ham.Retirement from a 37-year ca-reer does not mean slowing down.“Next up for me is helping mybrother-in-law calve calves,”chuckled Graham. “I’ve been fixingfence on the weekends and weneed to move cows. There is hay tomove. I consider myself just day-labor now.”This coming Monday, duties willbe shoved around the First Inter-state Bank in New Underwood aslongtime employee Brett Hansonwill step up to the plate to fill theshoes of the exited Graham.“Everyone will be picking up extraduties here,” said Graham.Hanson talked about his col-league’s retirement. “This comingMay, Larry and I would haveworked together for 20 years,”stated Hanson. “And I can tell youthat he is truly one of the best peo-ple I have ever worked for. I ar-rived at the First Western Bankhere in New Underwood in 1993.”Hanson talked about thechange. “Laurel Venhuizen will be-come an officer. She and I will besplitting the duties that Larry ac-complished. She will take on someof the tasks that I did and we willsplit what Larry did,” explainedHanson.Graham was honored with twoopen houses and First InterstateBank threw their employee a pri-vate party to commemorate the oc-casion.
Larry Graham retires from banking inWall and New Underwood
Grapplers capture State B Wrestling Tournament runner-up spot
The Badlands Brawlers took the State B Wrestling Tournament by storm and brought back the runner-up trophy. The team took thesecond place spot early during the first day of action and never looked back, but they might have been sweating it a little there atthe end. The second place finish wasn’t secured until the fourth to last match when a Canton wrestler, who was expected to win,failed to do so. Just four points separated the second through fourth place teams.
~Photo by Deb Smith