UPDATE: Sioux Falls School District proposing $180 million bond

Full Video working now.

If I was outside looking in, I would say the bond will fail, big time at the polls. Why?

• $180 million dollar price tag (some on the task force suggested a lower price tag of $150 to build 3 immediate needed schools.

• A stand alone election in September (some on the task force said this will certainly doom the bond) but Maher maintains it needs to be done before November so the construction can begin ASAP. Another task force member testified that when West central(?) had a stand alone bond election it failed and continued to fail until they tied it in with another election.

• It needs a 60% passage. That will be virtually impossible. The EC, which wasn’t even a legal bond vote didn’t even get that, AND NO TAX INCREASE WAS ATTACHED TO THE Events Center.

• It would be a $100 a year tax increase for every $100K home valuation.

They really need to scale this back even more. My suggestion would to build TWO new schools (leave out the HS) and get the number under $100 million. What I can’t understand is how an elementary school would cost $17 million but a new HS would cost $84 million?

I would also find other resources to pay down the bonds besides property taxes. I think if they get that $100 increase to under $50 a year they may have a better chance.

Hold the election with the General in November.

I wasn’t able to watch the whole meeting, so please feel free to correct me if I got any of this information wrong or left anything out.


#1 Rachel on 05.16.18 at 8:38 pm

Ok, here’s the thing…every school in Sioux Falls is over capacity. In order for teachers to best help their students and for administrators to best serve the city, we need to foot the bill. Should we as taxpayers have an opinion on this..yes..As a nurse, if my employer said “we need you to take double the case load at the expense of the quality of care you provide your patients”. I would have a problem with that.

#2 "Very Stable Genius" on 05.16.18 at 8:46 pm

But if they wait until the November general election, then they will lose their “Super Precinct” advantage…. And they don’t want to do that….

#3 anonymous on 05.16.18 at 10:21 pm


EVERY school in SF is NOT over capacity.

A FEW schools are OVER capacity.

One of the interesting facts from the task force meeting this evening:

Doug Morrison, former School Board member, said the overcrowding problem at Memorial Middle School could be fixed NOW simply by re-drawing the district boundaries. He went on to say this has NOT happened because residents on the west side have no appetite for re-doing the boundaries.

WHY: because it would mean some students who currently attend Memorial would be moved to McGovern (which has open capacity).

correction/southdacola: $180 million bond would equate to a $100 annual property tax increase for every $100,000 in value.

#4 Rachel on 05.16.18 at 10:40 pm

Anonymous..essentially every family member I have works in the public school district..and yes, they are over capacity…I’m fine with paying more in taxes if it means that my mom can continue to pay out of pocket to fees hungry kids, to show them love and to listen. Oh, and of course to teach. I do think any new school building project should go beige Public vote, but I hope that the public has a multifaceted perspectives be on the issue

#5 anonymous on 05.17.18 at 5:44 am

Rachel, since you have not been at the task force meetings, I would encourage you to watch the three meetings on-line, so that what you are sharing on a public site are FACTS and not emotions.

The numbers are all in the meetings’ supporting documents.

#6 anonymous on 05.17.18 at 5:49 am

I have been very surprised that with a local issue of such importance to every SF taxpayer there has been almost NO media present.

No media attended the second meeting.

KELO was the only media outlet in attendance last evening.

KDLT, KSFY and esp. the ARGUS LEADER, the city’s only newspaper……where were you!?

#7 D@ily Spin on 05.17.18 at 7:59 am

Scaling back seems a good idea. Still, it takes a vote. Seniors vote. Soccer moms don’t. Retired seniors will vote it down.

#8 l3wis on 05.17.18 at 8:14 am

If they think they can pass a $180 million dollar bond issue in a stand alone election they are taking the advice of the gallactically stupid;


#9 Michael Wyland on 05.17.18 at 9:33 am

Are the handouts from the task force meetings available online?

#10 Rufusx on 05.17.18 at 9:48 am

“…..What I can’t understand is how an elementary school would cost $17 million but a new HS would cost $84 million?”

Really? You don’t get that a HS has 4X as many students to an elementary?

#11 Michael Wyland on 05.17.18 at 11:11 am

Has anyone done the calculation of how large a bond the school district’s board may approve without referring it to the voters? As I remember, it’s a percentage function of the school district’s total tax base.

Depending on the size of the bond issue, the election may be to overturn the action of the school board – unless the school board has already publicly committed to a public referendum on the bond regardless of the size (amount) of the bond issue.

#12 anonymous on 05.17.18 at 3:53 pm

At last night’s task force meeting, there was an unqualified statement made that there will be a public vote.

They want that vote to take place no later than September 2018.

#13 Lemming on 05.18.18 at 9:02 pm

Do these taxes ever go away? Lincoln County and Minnehaha County have the highest property taxes in the State – by a LARGE margin! So why not slap another few hundred on!? And when they add $240 a year onto my property taxes (20 bucks a month people) does that ever go away? What is the $4500 I pay now going for and will it ever go down? This cycle just blows. Every opt out by some committee means another few hundred bucks out of my pocket. When does this end?

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