Democrats help block lithium mining tax in South Dakota
Measure comes up one vote short of passage in state Senate
There are only four of them in the South Dakota Senate, but Democratic lawmakers’ opposition to a proposed tax on lithium mined in the Black Hills proved the difference in a narrow vote Thursday.
Senators in support of House Bill 1043, which would classify the metal as a taxable mineral just like gold and silver already are, came up one vote short of sending the measure to the governor’s desk. And though a majority of the Senate favored it, the 23 affirmative votes the bill received wasn’t enough to eclipse the two-thirds requirement necessary to adopt a new tax in South Dakota.
Proponents of HB 1043, like Lawrence County Sen. Randy Deibert, say the measure is a proactive approach to generating revenue in order to help Black Hills counties and cities address rising infrastructure costs.
“That’s important to us that live in that area because hardships that we have in education surges and declines, and infrastructure stress created by the extraction and removal of minerals,” Deibert said.
But concerns about creating a new tax coupled with some general apprehension about more mining in the Black Hills spelled trouble for the measure that Deibert and Whitewood Rep. Kirk Chaffee co-sponsored.