For a moment, I thought maybe the Occupy movement had gotten its message across to the South Dakota Legislature. The first bill in the Senate hopper calls for an increase in taxes on large boats. Take that, 1%!

Ah, but that's not just a Missouri River yacht tax. SDCL 32-3A-2 defines "large boat" as "any boat over twelve feet in length or a motorboat, used or capable of being used as a means of transportation on water, except canoes, inflatable boats, kayaks, sailboards and seaplanes." That would include most of the fishing and pleasure boats you see at the boat ramp each summer weekend. So take that, 6 or 7%!

Right now, South Dakotans pay a 3% excise tax in lieu of the 4% state sales tax. SB 1 would raise that excise tax to 4%. That tax increase, along with the elimination of the tax exemption on sales of coins, currency, and bullion (HB 1002), is all the Interim Sales Tax Review Committee could come up with this summer. Out of $527 million in annual sales tax exemptions, the interim committee mustered the courage to close just these two exemptions, thus promising an additional $332,000 for the state's general fund.

We'll see what my neighbor Scott Pedersen and his boss Butch Parks of Parks Marina have to say about this tax increase.