Fraternals showed up today and the tax repeal bill died in committee…

Thanks to compelling testimony provided by local reps of Thrivent Financial, Modern Woodmen of America and Catholic Order of Foresters, the South Dakota Taxation Committee soundly defeated SENATE BILL 1181, a bill that would have repealed the tax exemption for fraternals and county farm bureau mutuals today. The committee’s action effectively kills the bill for the 2018 session.

While the Alliance briefed each member of the committee on the value of the fraternal exemption prior to the hearing, the personal stories told by South Dakota fraternals of the impact that their societies have had on their communities is what really sealed the fate of the misguided repeal measure.

I attended the hearing and have never felt so good about the members I represent. I have a long day of travel ahead to get back home, but I’ll be smiling all the way thinking about what we accomplished here today.

Thanks to all those members who helped us document our impact in the state, and especially to those four fraternalists who told their stories to lawmakers today.

Speaking on behalf of the fraternal system:

  • Rep. Nancy York (South Dakota State Representative and member) – Thrivent Financial
  • Adam Weeman (agent) – Thrivent Financial
  • Kevin Watts (member and agent) – Modern Woodmen of America
  • John & Betty Fiegen (Betty is a board member) – Catholic Order of Foresters

More on the Oregon tax repeal measure next week.


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  1. Three cheers for the American Fraternal Alliance and the fraternal benefit system. When we tell our story – we win!

  2. Tina Scribner : January 30, 2018 at 7:22 pm

    Nice work!! Thank you!

  3. Wonderful News to hear.

  4. Great job Joe and Fraternal Reps!

  5. This is great news! Good job!

  6. Sharon Calvelage : January 31, 2018 at 12:55 pm

    Awesome job!

  7. Joseph Annotti : January 31, 2018 at 3:13 pm

    Thank you for all those kind comments! But the real credit goes to those dedicated members who took the time to drive to Pierre, SD (which is three hours from just about everywhere else in the state!)on very short notice to tell their story to legislators.


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