Entries Tagged 'Minnehaha County' ↓
December 5th, 2013 — Minnehaha County, Property Taxes, Taxes
Interesting that we were just talking about this the other day on the blog, and our ever increasing property taxes. But this puts a new twist on it;
A lawsuit rising from a disputed property tax assessment involving Minnehaha County could set a troublesome precedent, county officials say.
Hutchinson Technology is suing the county, claiming the sale of a 300,000-square foot building to Sanford Health in 2009 showed the county greatly overvalued the building for tax purposes. The site at 2301 E. 60th St. had been the Hutchinson Technology campus. Sanford acquired it to be its research headquarters.
The most recent assessed valuation before the sale was $18.6 million. But Hutchinson Technology sold the site to Sanford for $12 million. Now Hutchinson Technology is challenging tax assessments from as far back as 2005 and possibly to 2001, according to Kersten Kappmeyer, Minnehaha County state’s attorney chief civil deputy.
Make no mistake, I have often thought state and local governments are greedy when it comes to taxing individuals, nickel and diming us on higher utility rates and fees. Continuing opt-outs for crime prevention and punishment (when changing state laws for non-violent drug offenders would fix the problem) while handing out TIF’s to the big boys and not taxing profits of corporations.
If the County loses this lawsuit, the ripple affect could be devastating, for their coffers anyway.
December 1st, 2013 — County Commission, Developers, Development, Minnehaha County, Sioux Falls
This quote from County Commissioner, John Pekas, pretty much sums it up;
“We are the constant underfunded entity in the state of South Dakota,” Pekas said. “This is the perfect poetic situation. The state has a surplus, the city has a surplus and we are out of money.”
I have often felt that there should be a shift in property tax dollars towards the county, I have also felt that the School Board, the County Commission and City Council should all have to approve a TIF with a 60% majority.
Trust me, if the law changed to allow this kind of approval process, no more TIF’s would be approved, and ironically, development would continue.
November 27th, 2013 — Minnehaha County, Sioux Falls, Taxes
A friend dropped off a print out of her property tax increases since 2009 to me yesterday.
Since 2009 she has done little to no improvements to her property. In fact this past year, the city had to tear up her boulevard for water issues and remove a tree due to the icestorm.
Her home has not increased in value since 2009. It is valued at $96,000 by the county.
From 2009-2010 her taxes increased $4
From 2010-2011 her taxes increased $3
From 2011-2012 her taxes increased $70
I suppose the sudden bump has to do with the county & school district opt-outs.
The part that is disconcerting is that while the city is handing out property tax cut incentives to wealthy developers, we are sticking it to the little guy to help pay for the needs of the county, city and school district.
If we feel like we need to continue these kind of increases, fine. But let’s eliminate TIF’s and have a triple approval process with the county and school district.
November 1st, 2013 — Mike Huether, Minnehaha County
I wanted to post about the mayor’s lake home because it is a question I get quite often. There seems to be some confusion on how he attained the property, and as far as I can tell, has the only lake front property (there is a farm on the other side of the lake adjacent to it).
Okay, I can’t see that the mayor attained the property in any sort of nefarious way, this from the SD GFP;
Ownership of Lake and Adjacent Lakeshore Properties
Diamond Lake is listed as meandered public water in the State of South Dakota Listing of Meandered Lakes. Game, Fish, and Parks (GFP) owns the majority of the lake basin as a Game Production Area and manages the fishery. The remainder of the shoreline is privately owned.
As you can see from the Google map images (2012) a special road had to be built to the home. I know many people who fish on that lake, and have witnessed the mayor having ‘get togethers’ at it.
While I commend anybody who is successful to build lake homes, it befuddles me that he would want to have the only home on the lake and when does he find time to stay at it? (it is located in Minnehaha county in rural Colton).
So just for the record, as far as I can tell, it’s his place, free and clear. Just trying to dispel any rumors.
August 21st, 2013 — Bob Litz, Minnehaha County
As we just discussed in June, county auditor, Bob Litz (was doing his job) by shopping around for better interest rates on county bonds. Since Dougherty has pretty much a monopoly on bonds, not only in the county, but the city and state, it was wise for Bob to do some shopping around. But it seems, according to a story in the AL today, the CC (or should we say Dougherty) decided to vote on a bond consultant while Litz was out of town. Only ONE commissioner, Pekas, questioned what the hurry was to vote on this.
I have a feeling this had NOTHING to do with a ‘rush’ to get it done, or getting the ‘best deal’. This had to do with Litz being out of town and Dougherty continuing their monopoly on bonds in this state.
Can’t wait to hear Litz’s reaction when he returns to Dodge.
August 5th, 2013 — Minnehaha County
Here we go again, another (SIN) tax idea from Jeff Barth and the Minnehaha CC;
County commissioners across the state have favored the idea. Jeff Barth says it’s legislation Minnehaha County has unsuccessfully lobbied on for years.
“Although they have plenty of money for drinking, they don’t have plenty of money to pay for defense attorneys, prosecutors, prison, and jail,” Minnehaha County Commissioner Jeff Barth said.
Barth says more and more the financial burden of offenses, including alcohol, is falling on counties who see no benefit from existing drink taxes. He believes any amount would ease the county coffers.
“Right now we’re looking at putting two additional floors on our county jail at a cost of $10 million and grandma isn’t drinking and driving. We’re going to make her pay,” Barth said.
While I am not entirely opposed to his idea, I often wonder when the county is in a financial bind they want to raise taxes without looking for cuts. Their lack of creativity is frustrating. They say everyone should pay more on alcohol taxes, even responsible drinkers. Well guess what? Why should I have to pay more in taxes because someone is irresponsible with alcohol? Good drivers get discounts on their car insurance, irresponsible drivers do not. It’s like telling people who drink in moderation and responsibly they need to pay for the ones that don’t. It’s not a fair form of taxation. If someone breaks the law and is irresponsible, you fine them. If they need more money for convictions and jails, they need to raise the fines, substantially, not taxes.
1) While they have lobbied for years to get a bigger cut of state taxes, they need to lobby harder and demand a fair share. I will agree with them on this point, they are getting the shaft when it comes to sharing the tax revenue in our state.
2) Stop putting non-violent offenders in jail, fine them, bracelet them, garnish their wages, make them pay for rehab, court costs, attorneys, etc. but for god’s sake stop jailing them, it is a waste of taxpayer money. Jail is NOT rehabilitation and never will be. If you want to stop these people from becoming repeat offenders, offer them rehabilitation and hit them in the wallet.
3) Have a say in the TIF process with the city. While the city is handing out TIF’s like candy to already wealthy developers they are raising our property taxes on ‘grandmas’. If I can’t get a TIF to improve my home, developers shouldn’t get them either. I say put a stop to them altogether, they are literally draining millions of dollars from the property tax rolls every year, and developers are literally ‘cashing in’ on them.
4) Make cuts to unneeded programs, this is what responsible leaders do in a money pinch. I still remember shortly after the property tax opt-out was approved, the first thing the CC did was hand themselves a raise. This was one of the most irresponsible things I have ever seen a commission do.
I am sure there is about a 100 other ways to make cuts and improve tax revenue, but please stop running to the media every time you have a cost increase you need to alleviate. It lacks vision and quite frankly is fiscally irresponsible.
May 14th, 2013 — County Commission, Minnehaha County
The commission decided today to leave the petitioners policy in front of the administration building ‘As is’ with possible improvements. They have also posted the policy on the building for petitioners to read. The commission is also considering budgeting for improving the entry way to make it more ADA compliant.
I will applaud the Commission for listening to constituents on this issue and making a common sense decision allowing petitioners to easily petition their government instead of making it more difficult.
May 10th, 2013 — County Commission, Minnehaha County
Hopefully this will be the final time the CC talks about this issue. I think they will be presented with ‘final findings and solutions’ on the issue. Meeting is at 9 AM, Tuesday the 14th in the CC chambers.
April 8th, 2013 — 1st Amendment, County Commission, Minnehaha County
If you believe in any cause, like the right to vote, the right to speak publicly about the government, Democrat, Republican, Libertarian, Pro-Choice, Pro-Life, Equality, Marijuana legalization, ANYTHING it doesn’t really matter — if you believe the FIRST AMENDMENT is the foundation to our democracy then listen up!
The Minnehaha County Commission is meeting today to discuss the presence of petition gatherers outside the doorway at the County Admin building & Courthouse. Today’s meeting is just for discussion at 1pm, but a formal policy to restrict or ban petitioning could be voted on at the Commission’s weekly meeting tomorrow morning, 9AM in the Commission chambers (courthouse), and that meeting will be open to public input.
The County admin building is frequented by thousands of citizens on a weekly basis, to renew drivers’ licenses, car registration, voter registration, pay fines, file civil claims, and many, many more functions of the government that citizens are entitled. The County Admin building and courthouse are by far the best place to gather petition signatures from registered voters.
The First Amendment guarantees the right to all American citizens to petition the government for redress of grievances. This right is under serious attack at the national and state level, and now today, at our local County level. If we cannot petition the government in a taxpayer-funded town square to refer policies/legislation or propose our own ideas that affect everyone in the community, then our rights to petition the government and peacefully assemble are seriously infringed upon. Our founding fathers decided these rights were so important they put them in the First Amendment of the Constitution along with freedom of speech and religion, and there’s no excuse why these rights should be “restricted” or banned in a public place.
When I collected petition signatures for the South Dakota Coalition for Compassion in 2010, I got about 1-200 signatures each day outside the courthouse. This grassroots effort was successful after 6 months of collecting 33,000 signatures from around the state, and the vast majority of those signatures came from outside the County Admin building in Sioux Falls. The County Admin building in Rapid City was the second most productive location! With out these locations for collecting signatures I seriously doubt there is any real ability to collect enough signatures for statewide initiatives – SD is a rural and spread-out state without a lot of high foot traffic areas, we’re a driving community. I explored every idea, went to so many events, door-to-door, and tried the DMV, the library, the post office and any imaginable public place – and no other place was/is as productive (or appropriate) as the County Admin building. Mind you, it’s also very convenient for citizens to register to vote at the County building to be eligible to sign petitions.
IF YOU CAN HELP SAVE THE VALUABLE RIGHT TO PETITION IN OUR COMMUNITY – PLEASE COME TO THE COUNTY ADMIN BUILDING (WEST DOORS FACING SZECHWANZ) FROM 9:30AM – 12:30PM AND SIGN MY IMPROMPTU PETITION! This petition is a simple statement:
******* I support the right of citizens to gather petition signatures on the County Admin and Courthouse property! *******
My goal is to collect 100 signatures before today’s meeting, and 200 signatures before tomorrows meeting. The impromptu petition has no formal effect but will send a clear message to the County Commissioners.
Here’s a flashback to my 19-year-old self getting started in activism, by collecting petition signatures to put medical marijuana on the ballot! Enjoy!
April 2nd, 2013 — Minnehaha County
The county will discuss making changes to gathering petitions in front of the Minnehaha County Admin building this Monday (April 8) at 1 PM in the commission chambers. I still think there is an effort by certain county employees and commissioners to shut down the petition gathering process. Maybe some of those revelations will be revealed on Monday.