A proposed license fee increase for food service, lodging, and campground establishments failed to make it past a South Dakota State Senate committee, South Dakota Public Broadcasting reported,
Senate Bill 62 would have increased the annual license fees for restaurants, hotels, and campgrounds. Tom Martinec, deputy secretary for the state’s department of health, said the fees collected don’t cover the cost of the program.
“This issue boils down to who should be shouldering the cost of the inspection program,” Martinec said. “The establishment owners through the fee revenue, or the general public through their tax dollars? Again, we believe that the premise or expectation should be that the fee revenue generally offsets the cost of the inspection program. However the information we provide shows that’s not what’s happening. In fact costs have historically outpaced fee revenue, and general funds have been and continue to make up that difference.”
Opponents of the measure said it came at a bad time. Shawn Lyons, executive director of the South Dakota Retailers Association, said there needs to be more time for communication between the parties involved.
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