Groups debate Initiated Measure 15 penny tax

While all eyes will be on the debate in Denver Wednesday night there’s a different debate taking place on the home front. And this one centers on Initiated Measure 15.

The Moving SD Forward group says a one cent state sales tax increase would remedy recent cuts made to education and Medicaid. But Shawn Lyons with the No on 15 campaign says something isn’t adding up.

“It’s a penny,” said Lyons in reference to a recent Moving SD Forward television ad. “That’s their message. It’s not just a penny. It’s a penny on every dollar and its 18 billion pennies permanently. This isn’t a one–time deal.”

Moving SD Forward’s campaign manager Andy Wiese says the same can be said for federal cuts.

“Well the cuts that we saw to education and Medicaid were not one time cuts,” Wiese said. “They were on–going cuts year after year.”

Lyons says his group isn’t against education, Medicaid or taxes. He says the debate shouldn’t take place at the polling stations next month but in Pierre between state legislators.

“That’s where you take the tax policy debates,’ Lyons said.”You don’t do it via the ballot in a really short venue where someone walks into the voting booth and really doesn’t understand or have the time to understand the underlying issues.”

Wiese argues measure 15 gives voters local control rather than waiting on legislators to make a decision for them. He says he’s confident voters will support the measure because most parents don’t mind shelling out an extra penny for their children’s education.

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