The South Dakota Lottery wants you to gamble more. After difficulty earlier this month rustling up a quorum, the Lottery Commission voted 6 to 1 this week to allow more promotions to entice South Dakotans into surrendering their money to the state and the state's for-profit tax collectors.
If we can boost the state lottery, why don't we crank up the promotions for other state taxes?
How about we have Governor Dennis Daugaard do some ads encouraging people to buy more stuff? "Every extra pack of tractor-tire donuts you buy helps pay your local police!"
How about we turn the whole sales tax system into a lottery? Each month, each town holds a drawing for 1% of its total sales tax revenue. All you have to do to enter is drop a copy of a local receipt in a barrel at city hall.
How about we do the same with property tax? Hold a yearly lottery in each county for everybody who takes out a building permit (first prize: tool belt, hammer, and 25-pound bucket of nails!). Hold an early-bird drawing for everybody who pays their property taxes at least a week ahead of the deadline. And on the flip side, post the ten biggest property tax delinquents' names and faces at the courthouse and have a dart-throwing contest.
The lottery is all about making taxes fun. Let's do it with all of our taxes!