The 88th Legislative Session gaveled to a close in March, and the 89th begins on Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2014 and ends effectively on March 11, when bills need to have passed both houses to remain alive.
This year, NFIB succeeded in helping pass House Bill 1039, which provides for some badly needed clarifications in the application of the gross receipts tax. Gov. Dennis Daugaard signed it into law March 4. But other proposals just missed passing, and some bad for small business may return.
Now is the time to start the conversation about the small-business agenda for 2014, and NFIB/South Dakota State Director Lindsey Riter-Rapp reminds members there are two excellent forums for doing so:
1. Become a Small Business Leader
Consider joining NFIB/South Dakota’s state leadership council. Click here for more information on the role and its responsibilities. Nothing persuades a legislator more than hearing directly from a Main Street entrepreneur.
2. Your State Member Ballot
It’s not too early to start sharing your thoughts with Lindsey about some of the questions that should be included in the 2014 ballot. State policymakers and the media consider results from the ballot to be the true voice of small business in the state. This is an effective and potent tool. Click here to see last year’s ballot, and here for the results. Send an email to Lindsey to share your thoughts about issues important to you. We’ll be reminding members of the ballot in future editions of Insight as well, so if you can’t now, perhaps at a later date. Also, you can click here to learn why NFIB takes positions on some issues and not others.
What Are the Issues for 2014?
A new Building South Dakota Fund was established this year, but it’s only for projects over $20 million. Should that threshold be lowered? Or are targeted economic-development tax credits unfair to small business to begin with and shouldn’t be given at all?
A perennial measure to decrease the sales tax on food failed again. Should it be brought up in 2014? And an effort to place a November ballot measure requiring a two-thirds vote of the public to enact, increase or extend a tax fell short. Should lawmakers keep trying?
What about punishing small-business owners who knowing hire illegal workers? That fell short of votes, as did an effort to modify the bankruptcy code? What issues should be brought back or brought up anew? Join the conversation.
You Are More Powerful Than You Think
The political clout of small business is more influential than most people know:
- In April 2010, the Pew Research Center released a study on the negative and positive views people hold on various American institutions. Small business came out first, 39 percentage points higher than labor unions, 46 points higher than large corporations, and 49 points higher than banks and financial institutions.
- Small business owners comprise 15 percent of all registered voters in the U.S., by comparison union voters make up 11.9 percent. When small business employees are added, the small business voting bloc swells to 43 percent.
- The most common public affairs and political activities in which small employers engage, according to the NFIB Research Foundation, include initiating discussions regarding the impact of a policy issue on the firm.
- Voters prefer candidates supported by small business by a margin of 3 to 1 over those supported by organized labor, according to the Winston Group
We’d love to hear from you.