The Honorable G. Mark Mickelson
Speaker of the House
500 East Capitol Avenue
Pierre, SD 57501
Dear Mr. Speaker and Members of the House of Representatives,
I respectfully return to you House Bill 1149, with my VETO.
House Bill 1149 is an Act to revise the tax on certain telecommunication services and devices.
This bill reduces the access fee on certain communication devices and services from 15 cents per month to 14 cents per month. At present, 90 percent of this fee is directed into the telecommunication fund for the deaf. Proponents of this bill voiced concern regarding the growth of the telecommunication fund, as revenue from the fee has generally outpaced authorized spending. Due to these past surpluses, money in this fund has been reallocated to fund other projects.
The outlook of this fund, however, does not align with its history. The Bureau of Finance and Management estimates this proposed reduction could result in a long-term structural deficit in the telecommunication fund for the deaf.
Furthermore, I cannot support reducing this fee in a tough budget year. If in the future we find that the fees collected outpace the need, the legislature should consider institutionalizing the use of these funds to support other government purposes by reallocating some additional portion of the fee to the general fund.
For these reasons, I ask that you sustain my veto.
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