Love is in the air at the Pennington County Commission

*Sniff* Love is in the air.

The Pennington County Commission and the South Dakota Association of County Commissioners have apparently resolved their differences in this Rapid City Journal article in today's newspaper by Scott Aust:
The on-again, off-again relationship Pennington County has had with the state county-commissioner organization may be back on again. The Pennington County Commission voted to rejoin the South Dakota Association of County Commissioners on Tuesday, about seven months after leaving the county-advocacy organization for the second time in three years.

Pennington County left the SDACC in 2003, then rejoined in 2004. But the lack of support from the association board for the county's liquor-tax initiative caused local officials to rethink membership for 2006.

The county left the association in February after the association rejected Pennington County's offer to make quarterly dues payments instead of a full $10,500 payment.

Commissioner Delores Coffing said the county chose to leave mainly because the commission didn't feel the SDACC executive board was representing Pennington County's interests on the liquor tax and other issues.

But Coffing also believed the SDACC president, Ralph Lyon of Ziebach County, was actively working against Pennington County. Coffing believes most counties supported the effort to seek a liquor tax, but the initiative couldn't get past obstacles created by the SDACC leadership.


Ron Buskerud, administrative assistant, said he is "relatively confident" after speaking with SDACC executive director Bob Wilcox that if the dues check is received in time, Pennington County will again be a member of the SDACC. The commission voted to send payment by express mail.
Will the SDACC accept that really big dues check? Are they kidding - Of course they'll accept what is probably their second largest dues check.

Will there be a happy loving relationship when it's all said and done? I say "No."

What's happening is that Pennington County is coming back to the lobbying organization a little bowed because of the costs for lobbying that they themselves incurred. (Remember that little battle?) So, it's cheaper to come back with their tail between their legs.

But once the cell phone tax is repealed (because no one is going to vote to tax themselves), the counties are going to be again be looking for a substantial source of income. The liquor tax is going to be eyed again, and they're going to probably fight that batttle amongst themselves once more.


Nicholas Nemec said…
I've always thought that a good argument could be made for an increase in the booze tax. Alcohol is a big factor in the court and jail costs that counties incure. A alcohol tax that went back to the counties would help offset those costs and take some of the pressure off property taxes. A tax on alcohol, with the money earmarked to offset court and jail costs, is a user fee.

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