The first bill of the 2013 South Dakota Legislature, signed by Gov. Dennis Daugaard today, was HB1066, which continues the current tax rate on tourism-related businesses during the June-September period.
The tax on the gross receipts of most tourism-related goods and services was 1 percent until it was raised to 1.5 percent for two years in 2009. A two-year extension was granted by the Legislature in 2011 and was due to expire this coming June 30.
HB1066, which passed the state House 64-4 and the Senate by 33-2, makes the 1.5 percent rate permanent. The measure had wide support from the state's visitor industry.
Money raised by the tax is used to promote tourism, and the lion's share of it is paid by out-of-state visitors, Gov. Daugaard said.
"I'm heartened by the South Dakota visitor industry's acceptance of this revenue source, which paves the way for increased tourism spending and boosts the entire state economy," the Governor said.