ASBSD and school board members across the state support and continue to advocate in favor of Gov. Dennis Daugaard’s proposed half cent sales tax increase.
“Our school board members are committed to supporting the half cent sales tax increase that will help them recruit and retain our teachers,” ASBSD President Eric Stroeder said. “The bill not only helps public schools, but benefits our local tax payers, who have seen an increased funding burden placed on them.”
The recently introduced House Bill 1182 proposes the half cent increase to the state’s sales tax, which hasn’t been permanently raised since 1969. In addition, the bill will reduce property taxes across all classes of property by 12 percent with agricultural levy tax payers seeing a tax decrease of $7 million, owner-occupied tax payers saving $13.9 million and commercial tax payers recovering $19.1 million.
The half cent sales tax increase would commit more than $60 million in new funding for public schools to distribute to teachers and staff for the upcoming school year and would establish the new, ongoing revenue source our schools desperately need to quell the state’s teacher shortage.
Data from schools and the Blue Ribbon Task Force have illustrated how shallow the state’s teacher pool has become and with no practical alternative funding plan presented, the passage of House Bill 1182 is vital.
“There is no viable second option for improving teacher pay in our state or funding our public education system at the level needed,” ASBSD Executive Director Wade Pogany said.
“School board members and community leaders must let our legislators know that our public schools need this new, ongoing revenue source to recruit and retain our teachers and maintain South Dakota’s excellent public education system.”