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SD state senator eyes boost in road taxes

Posted: Monday, Dec 23rd, 2013

This January 2009 photo shows a sign warning motorists that part of South Dakota Highway 20 is a gravel road in Prairie City. A South Dakota senator who has long urged additional funding for state highways says he plans to take a measured approach in his next attempt to boost the state taxes that support road construction and maintenance. Senate Transportation Committee Chairman Mike Vehle, of Mitchell, says he will hold a series of hearings when the 2014 legislative session opens in January to gather information about the need for highway funding.

PIERRE (AP) A federal infusion of recession stimulus spending helped South Dakota catch up on road projects, and now a lawmaker plans to take a look at whether the state should raise taxes to keep up with construction and maintenance.

Republican Sen. Mike Vehle, of Mitchell, chairman of the Senate Transportation Committee, plans to hold a series of hearings when the 2014 Legislature opens in January to gather information about the need for highway funding and how that revenue might be raised. Any bill to raise highway taxes would not be introduced until 2015, he said.

"The goal is to get some consensus," Vehle said. "Do we have a problem, how bad is that problem, what can we do about it, what should be the process, and can we get everybody behind it?"

For the complete article see the 12-23-2013 issue.

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