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shop online at www.missourivalleyshopper.com November 14, 2017 • Page 5 Tax Reform: Strong Families; A Strong Future By Rep. Kristi Noem I met a woman a while back in the grocery store. She had a cart full of groceries and a handful of coupons. As we waited in line, she asked: “Kristi, when is it going to get better?” The cost of those groceries, of healthcare, of childcare – all were going up. But she hadn’t gotten a raise in years. I’ve been thinking about that young woman a lot lately. She, like so many South Dakota families, faces that financial pinch every day. When will it get better? Earlier this month, we released a once-in-a-generation tax reform package that I’m optimistic will begin to answer that question. The bill – appropriately named the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act – is designed to strengthen families and offer a more optimistic future for all Americans. More specifically, we significantly lower individual tax rates and nearly double the standard deduction. We also simplify the tax code so an individual or family can file their taxes on a form as simple as a postcard. Think of the stress that would save come tax time! We also provide unprecedented support for families, increasing the Child Tax Credit to $1,600 per child, eliminating the marriage penalty, preserving the Child Care Credit, and creating a new Family Flexibility Credit. The Death Tax is fully and completely repealed by 2024, and we double the exemption between now and then. Farmers and ranchers, along with other businesses, will be able to immediately write off the full cost of new equipment, which is critical for agriculture. No changes are made to popular retirement savings options, such as the 401(k) or IRA. And we open the door for employers to create more jobs and raise wages by offering a historically low small business tax rate and lowering the corporate tax rate to a globally competitive 20 percent. I know I just threw a lot of numbers at you, so let me explain what it would mean for a typical family. Imagine this: Phil and Kate have two children in middle school. She works at the bank in town; he works for an area farmer. Together, they make $59,000 a year. As a result of the lower tax rates, a significantly larger standard deduction, an enhanced Child Tax Credit and the new Family Flexibility Credit, Phil and Kate would see their total tax bill drop from $1,582 to $400. That’s more money they can use for whatever is important to them, whether it’s paying bills, buying a new fridge, or putting away savings for the future. Let’s look at another example. Meet Beth. Two years ago, she opened Beth’s Pizza Place. This year, she expects to earn around $62,000 in net income. Under today’s tax code, Beth would pay a little over $8,600 in taxes, but under our plan, her tax bill would fall by more than $3,000, freeing up money to install a new oven or give her employees a little raise. While nothing will be perfect in everyone’s eyes, I’m optimistic about the impact this package could make in the lives of South Dakotans, including that woman I met in the grocery store. It’s taken years to get to his point, but it’s essential we get this right. For kids about to graduate from college, this could be the tax code they live by for much of their adult lives. As the first South Dakotan in history to serve on the committee that’s responsible for tax reform, I’m deeply honored to give our state a seat at this table. I was talking with President Trump just after we introduced the bill. His optimism about our plan and commitment to getting it done was beyond encouraging. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act will be debated in my committee for a few more weeks before the full House votes on it. If you’d like to follow along or share your thoughts on it, please visit Noem.House.gov/TaxReform Those Who Administer The Law By Gov. Dennis Daugaard This week, it was my honor to participate in the investiture of Steven R. Jensen as the newest member of the South Dakota Supreme Court. Justice Jensen is a native of Wakonda and has been a circuit judge in Elk Point for the last 14 years. Rather than come to Pierre, he held his swearing-in ceremony at the USD Law School in Vermillion, so that he could be near to his family, friends and peers in the legal community. It doesn’t get much attention, but one of the governor’s most important responsibilities is to appoint Supreme Court justices and circuit court judges. Supreme Court justices are always appointed by the governor. Periodic statewide “retention elections” ask voters to choose “yes” or “no” on retaining each justice. Circuit judges are elected to eight-year terms, but very often they retire mid-term, in which case the governor appoints a successor. For appointments, a screening committee called the Judicial Qualifications Commission screens applicants to ensure that they are qualified. A governor may appoint only from the list of candidates submitted by the Commission. I typically interview between three and five listed candidates for each open position. Appointing judges has kept me pretty busy over the years. In South Dakota, judges must retire when they turn 70, and they sometimes retire earlier. As in many other professions, the “baby boomers” are reaching retirement age, and many judges have stepped down in recent years. As of today, 28 of South Dakota’s 43 circuit court judges are new since I took office in 2011, and still three more circuit judge positions are soon to be filled. I have also made three appointments to the South Dakota Supreme Court. My first appointee, Judge Lori Wilbur, was the second woman to serve on the Court when I appointed her in 2011. My second appointee was Janine Kern, who had been a longtime circuit judge in Rapid City. Justice Wilbur retired earlier this year, and Justice Jensen replaced her. Justice Jensen is the 50th justice to serve on our five-member court. In addition to justices Wilbur and Kern, a new generation of younger judges has also brought more women to the circuit court bench. Since 2011, the 28 new circuit judges have included 11 women. Women today make up more than onequarter of the circuit judge positions in the state, and their number continues to increase. South Dakota’s judges don’t often get much attention, and they don’t seek it. But they play an important role in our society. Whether it is a high-profile murder trial, a child custody case, a million-dollar contract dispute, or a small claim, we look to our judges to administer the law in a fair and speedy manner. South Dakota is fortunate to have so many attorneys who are willing to serve the public in this important role. SD National Guard Wins NGB Excellence In Diversity Award ‘Soldier Who Stands Alone’ By Gov. Dennis Daugaard Sixty-nine years ago, a young man named Philip left his home in South Dakota to serve his country. Philip J. Iyotte was a Rosebud Sioux Tribe member who lived in White River and became a sergeant in the 8th Army and a member of Company E’s 21st Infantry Regiment and 24th Infantry Division. Sgt. Iyotte’s battalion was one of the first sent into battle at the commencement of the Korean War. The sergeant was first wounded in 1950, but returned to the front lines less than three weeks later. While fighting in Operation Thunderbolt on Feb. 9, 1951, Iyotte was taken by Chinese forces and was later moved to a camp at Changsong. Fellow prisoners of war have said that though Iyotte was wounded while in captivity and could not walk, he sang the Lakota honor song for his fellow soldiers. Iyotte is believed to have passed away after seven months in captivity. He was 21 years old. Sgt. Iyotte’s story is fresh upon many of our minds, as he was finally brought home and laid to rest just a few weeks ago. Over these many years, Philip’s family never gave up on their efforts to find him. They kept hope and they endured in their work to bring him home. Upon his return, South Dakotans of all ages and walks of life honored this family’s devotion and the sergeant’s sacrifices by lining the streets for the procession and packing the White River gymnasium for the memorial ceremony. This Veterans Day, I’m reminded of the immense sacrifice Sgt. Iyotte made at such a young age, and also of the price so many have paid to keep us free – some of whom were taken prisoner and never made it home. According to the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency, more than 82,000 Americans who served in conflicts dating back to World War II are still unaccounted for. The agency estimates that threequarters of the missing are within the Asia-Pacific and half were lost at sea. Thousands of families throughout the nation are still without answers. For them, questions still exist - how loved ones lost their lives or where they are buried. I hope you will keep those families in your prayers this Veterans Day, and remember the POW/MIAs who never made it home. I hope you will also take time to thank the veterans in your life for keeping us free. I am told Sgt. Iyotte’s Lakota name was “Akicita Isnala Najin,” which translates to “Soldier Who Stands Alone.” But since the day he was finally brought home and laid to rest, the name is no longer fitting. Philip no longer stands alone, and no veteran should. YOUR RADIATOR HEADQUARTERS! • Great Parts • Great Warranty On-Hand & In-Stock! NO WAITING! Cox Auto 1007 Broadway Ave Yankton, SD 605•665•4494 LITTLE ROCK, Ark. - The South Dakota Army National marketing approaches, and showcase various internal and Guard won a National Guard Bureau Excellence in Diversity external diversity programs linking directly to unit combat Award for fiscal year 2016 presented at the National Guard readiness. Diversity Training Workshop at the Professional Education The SDARNG's Lt. Col. Joe Jacobson, Command Sgt. Maj. Center at Camp Robinson. Cory Rabenberg and Sgt. Maj. Eric Jennings initiated the award The NGB Excellence in Diversity Awards are presented to nomination based on community support missions and interoutstanding National Guard individuals, organizations, states national participation in the Golden Coyote training exercise. and territories for significant contributions to diversity and The SDARNG exercise supported several timber hauling inclusion initiatives. missions to South Dakota's Native American reservations. 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In addition, the SDARNG held four celebraSouth Dakota, the better we will be." tions in 2015 in honor of Lakota code talker veterans at locaThe SDARNG received the award in the Army National tions around the state, which Guard organization/unit category, which recognizes significant culminated at Crazy Horse contributions to readiness with regard to participation, leader- Memorial on Veterans Day with ship, new initiatives, and exemplifies diversity of thought and over 700 people in attendance. after more than a inclusion of non-traditional leadcentury, we’re still ers of all ranks. 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