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Problems on the farm cause problems for lawmakers

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PIERRE, S.D. (KOTA TV) - The govenor's proposed budget doesn't give lawmakers much flexibility if they finalize it early next year. One key reason, a dramatic drop in net farm income.

In 2016 South Dakota brought in $1 billion from farm income. That's down from its peak of $3.7 billion just five years ago. State Representative Lynne DiSanto believes low crop prices, as well as an increase in sales tax, account for the decrease.

"We've taken them for granted far too long, and the reality is now we are feeling the affects of continuing to raise taxes on them and make it more difficult and more hostile environment to be a farmer in South Dakota," says DiSanto. "We need to make easy for these farmers. We need to be helping them in every way we can so that they are making money and doing well, because then South Dakota we all do better."

The governor believes commodity prices are a bigger issue.

"We are seeing development in the ag world, but it can't completely offset an impact of worldwide trade and inventories of grain that are so great that they are driving prices down or they have driven prices down in all our commodities and it will just take some time for some of that commodity price recovery to occur," the governor explained.

The other factors contributing to decreased revenue this year were low inflation rates, increase in e-commerce sales where the state doesn't get sales tax revenue, and health care costs.