South Dakota lawmakers discuss changes we could see for 2019 in South Dakota

Published: Jan. 2, 2019 at 6:47 AM CST
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As we begin our new year, those who work minimum wage jobs will see a bump in their pay.

That increase is to keep up with the cost of living and has been rounded to the nearest five cents.

The increase of minimum wage has been slowly climbing since 2014.

In 2018, those with minimum wage jobs were making $8.85 per hour. This year wages have increased by 25 cents making it $9.10 per hour.

One lawmaker who baked this bill roughly five years ago believes this helps the overall economy of the state, while others say this law isn't needed because of current labor conditions in South Dakota.

"There's such a scarcity of employees that businesses have to be competitive," Steven Haugaard, (R) South Dakota speaker, said. "And so, I don't think there's going to be a lot of minimum wage jobs out there, and if people come in at a minimum wage, I expect they'll be bumped up to retain them."

"It does increase the tip minimum wage, and at the federal level, it's still $2.01 an hour," Sen. Reynold Nesiba, (D) District 15, said. "But, in South Dakota, the tip minimum wage is one half of whatever the minimum wage is. So, that will be going up, as well."

Another change South Dakotans are looking at regards online sales taxes.

The numbers for the new tax will be coming in a few months from now.

The state began collecting sales tax from many companies late last year. And just yesterday, three major online companies, including Wayfair started to remit sales tax.

Right now, lawmakers do not know how much the new online sales tax will increase revenue in the state. But, they hope to have a better grasp after this year's legislative session.

"We've had a number of firms that have been voluntary compilers, doing this before they already legally had to," Sen. Nesiba said. "Some of the revenue is things that would've been purchased here but instead are being purchased online. So, it's not actually a net gain; it's just we're finally capturing some of that revenue that we've been losing for the last few years."

South Dakota Republican speaker of the house Steven Haugaard says he doesn't believe the state will see a lot of change since we see a lot more online sales and decreasing in-store sales and thinks the additional revenue coming in will help, but won't solve all the state's financial problems.