State Rep. Tom Jones (D-Viborg) has been named to the legislature’s new committee on sales tax exemptions. He is one of 15 lawmakers who were named to the committee by the legislature’s Executive Board.

Their assignment is to study a list of goods and services that are now exempted from the state sales tax. Many of the exemptions are in the health care and agriculture sector. If all the items were made taxable, the state would reap nearly $500 million more every year in sales taxes. However, legislative leaders have cautioned that most of the goods and services have been exempted for valid reasons, so net revenue gains may not be easy to accomplish.

Some of the exemptions have been examined in the legislature’s taxation committees over the past several years, and efforts to repeal them have generally been unsuccessful.

Jones, whose seven family-owned grocery stores extended from Vermillion to Viborg, says he is interested in serving on the summer study because of his experience with sales taxes as a businessman. He said he wants any changes in the system to be fair to taxpayers as well as the business and farm sectors.


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