Decreased farm revenue causing legislators to pinch pennies in 2018 budget

Pierre, SD After the Governor's budget address on Tuesday, legislators are concerned about low revenue and its potential causes.

Total revenue is down over 30 million dollars for the 2018 fiscal year budget and many legislators blame a decrease in taxable sales.

One of the major revenue shortfalls this year was attributed to low farming income, which the Governor said is due to low commodity prices and grain surplus.

Some legislators believe that the half penny sales tax increase approved in the 2016 legislative session has contributed to the struggle of the agriculture industry.

Representative Lynne DiSanto, district 35 says, "It's a combination of two things. It's a combination of the fact that crop prices have been down and they just have not had the income but second to that we raised our sales tax and when those of us that were opposed to that sales tax increase we coming along saying, the farmers and the people that buy multi-million dollar equipment are going to be scared off by that sales tax increase and they are going to not buy. So I believe that this is a reaction to our sales tax increase going up."

The Governor says part of the issue is also this year's drought and that this shortfall could be short-lived and increase as soon as next year.