This failed for a reason, and it wasn’t the political power machine that killed it, it was many people with common sense behind the scenes lobbying against higher regressive taxes that just burden the working poor. It is counterproductive to fund projects on the backs of people paying higher taxes on food and utilities. If we really want to tap a hidden tax source it would be an income tax on corporations and high wage earners. Other then that, it astonishes me that the mayor of SF would support this, a person who is often telling us we are swimming in money. A little history lesson for Mr. Whitney (who apparently has no clue what has been going on in city politics for the past 10 years) We recently switched our water/sewer over to ‘enterprise funds’ this was a way to direct our fees into fixing infrastructure, which makes sense, though I think it was done to justify higher rates and to free up CIP money for ‘play things’. We don’t need higher sales taxes in Sioux Falls, especially under an administration that gets giddy every time they open the city checkbook. The next time the city needs extra money for NEEDED infrastructure, I suggest they cut elitist indoor tennis centers named after our esteemed emperor instead of looking for more ways to screw the poor.
Of course, let’s look at Whitney’s version as to why this went down (am I the only one who doesn’t laugh at his satire pieces but think his serious columns are hilarious?)
Consider the plight of Senate Bill 135, a sales tax measure that appeared reasonable enough when first submitted by Republican state Sen. Corey Brown back in January.
Yes proposed by Mr. South Dakota ALEC himself. An organization that likes to have taxes paid by the working class, while corporations run free from taxation. I can almost guarantee Brown saw this as a way to protect his corporate interests.
Bolstered by the South Dakota Municipal League, the bill would have granted cities and towns the ability to impose up to a third penny of general sales tax — if approved by voters — to pay for capital expenditures such as land acquisition, street or bridge repair and other infrastructure projects.
And that is the major flaw with the legislation, it’s wording, infrastructure projects can mean anything from a bridge, a sewer pipe or an indoor pool.
“Voters had to approve it, it was specifically for infrastructure, there was a hard sunset on it and it could not be extended or renewed,” says Yvonne Taylor, executive director of the South Dakota Municipal League
The ‘Sunset Clause’ song and dance. We know how that rolls. Remember the 2nd penny implementation for roads? Well we don’t entirely spend it on roads anymore, just a portion of it. Or the ‘entertainment tax’ that was used to pay off the Washington Pavilion bonds. Well that was paid off, but we are still paying the tax. The sunset clause is a ruse, because as soon as the project is paid for, government will find another project to spend it on. History has shown this. Do you study history Yvonne?
Gov. Dennis Daugaard, for all his talk about local control, wasn’t thrilled with the idea of cities being able to address their own revenue issues, especially with his push for highway and bridge funding taking top priority in Pierre. If someone was going to raise taxes, it was going to be him.
Well, I’m not one to defend our tight wad governor, but it seems he was using common sense by pointing out raising taxes and fees for road repairs on a state level then allowing municipalities to also implement a tax increase at the same time wouldn’t sit well with taxpayers. It doesn’t take a genius to figure that out.
Deputy state revenue director David Wiest opposed SB135 in Senate committee, saying consumers already pay four cents on the dollar in state sales tax and that collecting more locally would push the burden too high.
“That’s not going to work for citizens in the state,” he told legislators. “They won’t permit it.”
And he is right. I haven’t talked to one single person who thought this was good legislation. The other flaw pointed out to me by my conservative friends was that it should take a 60% majority to approve a tax increase, this was NOT in the bill, and I believe that is why a lot of legislators didn’t like it.
Throwing out a scary number (especially one that could not possibly come to fruition and that Taylor of the Municipal League called “mind-boggling”) was gimmicky politics at best, but the tactic was repeated in op-ed pieces and voter outreach spearheaded by the state chapter of Americans for Prosperity.
It may have been ‘gimmicky’ but not to far from the truth. In fact if we raised the taxes by a penny just in Sioux Falls, it would be around a $50 million dollar tax increase. That’s not a gimmick, that is the truth.
“It’s no secret that Sioux Falls would have reaped the rewards of this legislation, but cities and towns all across the state were clamoring for its passage as well,” Huether said this week. “It was a full-court press for local control.”
Local control?! Let’s talk ‘gimmicks’. Besides the public approving such a regressive tax increase, that is where our ‘control’ would end. We have a city administration that is famous for handing out money to special interests with little public input. In fact, our mayor is so brazen about it, after cutting a $500,000 check to the Indoor Tennis Palace, he slaps his name on the building. Now that’s local control!
Those projects total an estimated $100 million in a city that has about $30 million a year to take care of all of its maintenance, reconstruction and extension efforts, city public works director Mark Cotter told state legislators. To use public bonds, the city would spend more than “$52 million in interest alone” over 20 years to pay for the work, he added.
$30 Million? What did I say earlier about the 2nd penny? The fact is we have been robbing it (CIP) for play things and bond payments on those play things. If we truly spend ALL of the 2nd penny on it’s true intent, we would be driving on streets of gold, and they would be paid for. Instead we consistently rob the cookie jar for entertaining ourselves. The money exists for these projects, make no mistake, but it takes an administration willing to make prudent decisions about infrastructure instead of worrying about what color the bathrooms will be at the Events Center (something I heard he was very involved in).
After the efforts made in Sioux Falls and the personal involvement of Huether to articulate the importance of the bill to the state’s largest city, those votes did not go unnoticed.
“Sioux Falls brought out the big guns to promote the passage of this critical bill,” Huether said. “Then to find out it was some of our very own legislative team that didn’t even let us enter the corral for the gunfight was very disheartening.”
Oh Yes Mike, it’s always about you, isn’t it? This bill was defeated because it just wasn’t fiscally responsible. Besides, what gun fight did you get into? Did you testify in Pierre on it’s behalf? I don’t recall hearing about that?
Darrin Smith, the city’s community development director, said that the bill’s defeat is a setback for Sioux Falls growth.
“I don’t think there’s any question that this will put significant economic development opportunities we have at risk,” Smith said. “This would have allowed us to invest even more in infrastructure to create more jobs and diversify our economy, but you can’t be successful if you’re afraid to lead, so we’ll do the best we can now.”
Wow! Darrin, did you just read what you said? If we were so afraid of risking economic development in Sioux Falls, why did we borrow $117 million for an Events Center? Or rob Federal levee paybacks to build an indoor pool? Or have $37 million in surplus accounts? I don’t think we are risking anything, except over extending ourselves on play things.
“I cheer for our governor more often than not, but this is one topic where I respectfully disagree,” Huether said. “I am not fighting against my governor, but rather fighting hard for South Dakotans, east of the Missouri and west. I know he is too.”
Mike, you cheer (and cry) for one person, and we know exactly who that is.
You told me on Friday that you don’t believe in the minimum wage and that you believe a market approach is the way to go. I’ve told a lot of people about that and we’ve concluded that politicians should get paid on a market approach too – you know, on how much you are needed. In today’s world, you aren’t worth much. You cause more problems than you solve, so instead of paying you our hard earned tax dollars, we think you all owe us money. That’s what the market bears in today’s political environment.
I’ll be waiting for my check.
I’m guessing he owes us a lot of money! I’m guessing Thune and Noem probably owe us more.
Forget EB-5, Dennis is now claiming he is a leader when helping with flooding. Could have fooled me. When Joe Lowe was coordinating the Dakota Dunes flooding fiasco (he worked for Dennis) they had to find ways to distract the governor while he was visiting the site before he made any stupid decisions. I think Joe referred to the experience as ‘babysitting’ the governor, he also had some other ‘colorful’ descriptions of our governor’s brain trust when it came to disaster management and cleanup. Let’s just thank God for one decision Dennis made, keeping Joe Lowe on as his disaster manager.
Towards the end of the Governor candidate debate yesterday at the state fair, Myers asked that Governor Daugaard be asked to swear on the bible to testify about EB-5, Dennis yelled out at Myers (in the above image) ‘Bring it on!’ a couple of times.
The Democratic ticket is set in South Dakota’s gubernatorial race.
Susan Wismer named Susy Blake as her lieutenant governor running mate.
Blake is a former state legislator and nurse. She represented District 13 in Sioux Falls from 2008 to 2012.
“It was an honor to be asked to join Susan for this historic campaign, and now it is my pleasure to join this campaign and stand with Susan to advocate for all of the people of South Dakota,” Blake said in a statement.
Oh, it will be historic alright, I bet it will be the biggest ass kicking the Dems get in 40 years in a Governor Race. If Susan breaks 30% I will be shocked. I bet Huether was secretly giddy after hearing the news. I will be curious if he donates any money to the campaign. As I have said in the past, the only way Wismer/Blake even have a snowball chance in Hell of beating Denny is if the EB-5 scandal blows up in his face, but I see that investigation is slowly getting buried like Benda himself.
The Dems just couldn’t leave well enough alone by handing the nomination to Joe Lowe, and running Wismer as SOS.
As Jon Stewart would say, they really f’d the chicken on this one.
Last night state Democrats hurdled step one in getting Huether elected to the governor’s office in 2018 by choosing Wismer to run against Daugaard. The ONLY way Wismer even has a snowball chance in Hell of beating an incumbent Republican would be if they could directly link him to the EB-5 scandal, which will be tough since there has been a complete media lockout on the subject.
Lowe’s loss wasn’t entirely a grand scheme by the Democratic party. Lowe admitted last night that he did very little advertising and NO direct mail. That is unfortunate, because he truly could have beat her if he would have just stuck with traditional political advertising, like Wismer did do. It worked for her.
What is even more frustrating is that the Dems have yet to say if they have a candidate for Secretary of State. As I have said in the past, this would have been their prime opportunity to go after that seat, especially with all of the scandals with Gant, and Shantel Krebs telling a petitioner last year that the petition and referendum process in South Dakota should be ‘Unconstitutional’. The last kind of person we want as election overseer. Speaking with a prominent Democrat recently, he said that the Dems have NO candidate for SOS and plan on putting their full support behind the governor candidate. Imagine that, putting all of their eggs in one basket.
I have never regretted leaving the Democratic party and becoming an Indy, and I don’t forsee myself ever returning. It just seems like SD Dems are always planning for the next election instead of the one at hand, and they proved this last night by securing Huether’s race for governor in 2018. As MMM would say, “Good Job.”
Here’s a question for the State of South Dakota, the SD Governor’s office, Attorney General’s Office and the SD social services departments, “WTH?” On what planet are you?
The state of South Dakota is spending major money using the Governor’s wife as a cutesy spokesperson with her grandchildren(?) encouraging the foster children business. Her husband is an announced candidate for governor of South Dakota. Is this state sponsored advertising for Denny’s reelection campaign? Is this a feel good commercial to enhance the Governor’s image after the children’s mess he is actually in? Remember Aberdeen. Remember Mette. Remember Schwab and Taliaferro. Also, remember the $50,000,000 the Daugaard Children’s Home Society gets to foster out children into so many abusing families. How the Mette case brought up the ugly mess of the South Dakota’s Indian Child Welfare Act violations.
So in the disaster aftermath of Mette, is South Dakota state government using the First Lady in TV commercials and a fancy website to clean up their image? In normal campaign seasons South Dakota state law would prohibit the use of the Governor’s family or images once the candidacy is announced. Just recently NJ Gov. Chris Christie got in big time trouble using his family in a PR campaign.
Where are Denny’s political opponents? Do they not understand child stealing, selling, renting and other abuses are just not right?
Just thought I’d mention it and see how long it takes for the commercials to be removed from broadcast.
Of the documents released by USCIS, the most surprising relate to the TransCanada project. Bollen made the initial application in May 2011 to include TransCanada as a qualifying EB-5 project.
By that time, Gov. Dennis Daugaard had been in office five months. Benda, who had not been retained by Daugaard as a Cabinet secretary, had gone to work for Bollen and SDRC.
Tony Venhuizen, Daugaard’s director of policy and communications, said state officials didn’t learn until more than two years later — last summer — that Bollen had applied with the USCIS to supply EB-5 financing to Trans-Canada. By then, state and federal officials were investigating the state’s program.
“He told them he wanted to get into the pipeline business,” Venhuizen said, saying the TransCanada information was a surprise.
But one thing the state officials said they didn’t learn until questioned last week by the Argus Leader was that Bollen also was trying to expand SDRC’s service area into Montana and Nebraska.
“That was not a detail that he mentioned,” Venhuizen said.
I love how the current administration and the Rounds administration act like Benda and Bollen were just working alone, because, you know, like the governor doesn’t have time to monitor millions of dollars in economic development money. I could just hear Denny and Marion having the conversation as Marion was leaving office, “Yeah, Dennis, really not sure what Benda and the boys are doing up in the ED office, but you can trust them, they are really good at managing themselves, heck, they never ask for my assistance ever, sometimes it will be months before I even talk to them.” Dennis responds, “Cool, it is kind of how I handled fostering native children out to white foster families. Once they left Children’s Home Society, and you cut us a check, I was pretty much hands off, guess you can’t say that about Mr. Mette . . .”