AARP AARP States South Dakota

Tell Lawmakers: Vote YES on Straightforward Election Procedures

Up close shot of voter

There are only two weeks left in the 2022 South Dakota legislative session and our work is not done.

With our eye on the finish line, we urged lawmakers to support numerous bills this week to improve the lives of South Dakotans 50+, including straightforward election procedures, property tax and sales tax easements, and clarifications on powers of attorney.

Voter Information

Senate Bill (SB) 69 would let voters update information like their address or party affiliation easily on a new, secure website managed by the Secretary of State. This important bill will be heard in the House State Affairs Committee next week, and we need your help.

We believe changes to our state’s election process should aim for simplicity, not complexity.

Click here to urge legislators in the House of Representatives to vote YES on SB 69, remove unnecessary barriers that prevent older adults and people with disabilities from participating in elections.

Older woman looking out a window. She appears stressed, with a hand over her mouth.

Tax Relief for Low-Income Seniors Property tax continues to place a disproportionate burden on low-income seniors and people with disabilities. As home values continue to spike, AARP South Dakota is fighting to help homeowners and renters alike to keep up with ever-rising property taxes.  We testified in support of House Bill (HB) 1001 on Wednesday, which would raise income levels and housing values for eligibility for the state’s property tax assessment freeze program. These new levels will help more of our older residents and people with disabilities remain in their homes as they age—where they want to be.

Thanks to additional support from Representative Mike Weisgram (R) of District 24 and the South Dakota Department of Revenue, property tax easements passed unanimously through the Senate Taxation committee (6-0) and the Senate floor (35-0). It now heads to the Governor’s desk for her signature.

We testified on another bill this week to provide property and sales tax refunds to low-income seniors.

Seniors often live on fixed incomes and cannot afford for their property taxes to go up year after year while also meeting their basic needs for food, medicine and utilities. With AARP South Dakota’s support, HB 1014 will advance to the Senate Floor for consideration.

Two women sit side by side using a laptop

Powers of Attorney When seniors get to a point where they may need help making vital decisions, they may need a legal guardian—a family member, friend, or paid professional appointed by the court—to make financial decisions for them. AARP is fighting to protect South Dakota’s vulnerable seniors who rely on guardians and others. We testified on Friday in favor of SB 79, a bill that would clean up key definitions in the Uniform Power of Attorney Act (UPOAA). AARP South Dakota fought hard to pass the UPOAA in 2020 to help family caregivers and others who serve as guardians carry out their duties within the letter of the law—and in the best interest of the person they care for. With AARP South Dakota’s support, this bill will advance to the House Floor.