Entries Tagged 'Road Funding' ↓

If a new road is essential for growth, jobs and development – why the secrecy?

If you don’t give us taxpayer money, we are packing our bags (where have we heard that one before?)

The public becomes suspect when in one breath government tells us we must subsidize private industry for our benefit then turns around in another breath tells us that industry must remain secret;

They won’t name the employer but think they can secure state and federal money to help pay for a new roadway to accelerate improvements in the area.

“It’s a major organization we want to keep in Sioux Falls,” said Darrin Smith, city director of community development.

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“The company wants to keep its identity confidential, and we’ll honor that,” Barr said. “There’s no commitment on their part or our part, but anytime a company opens the door to relocate, you want to make sure you have a competitive option for them.”

If they are asking for public money, there is absolutely no reason whatsoever that they remain confidential. If you want our money, fine, fess up. Secondly, I find it very hard to believe this company would be packing bags if we don’t build this road for them. I do think this road is needed in that part of town, but to make it sound like we are going to lose jobs and businesses if we don’t build this road is a stretch.

I have no idea who this business is, but if I had to guess, here is a pretty good clue;

Much discussion now is about another city business that has outgrown its location and might be looking at the park for a new plant.

I’m guessing it is the metal recycling plant that wanted to move in the old stockyards, and the city has been jumping through hoops for them so they WON’T locate in that location. If anybody else has the facts and wants to confirm that, please comment.

 

Think traffic is bad in Sioux Falls while driving your car? Hit the streets on a bicycle.

“Just another successful bicycle commute in Sioux Falls”

When you are in your car, you can observe a lot of rudeness from the safety of your vehicle, but if you really want to see a high level of ass-hattery by SF drivers, get on a bicycle or moped and travel our streets. One Saturday, last summer, I rode my bike down 41st street from Barnes and Noble to Ground Round. I was almost hit 4 times and one time I had to hit my breaks so hard I almost went over my handle bars into the lap of a guy driving a Mustang convertible, and he had the nerve to flip me off. Yeah, Mr. Cool. I like to take the bike trails as much as possible, even though I have to circumvent yuppie moms with their double strollers, it is still 200 times safer then our streets.

According to an Argus Leader/KELO-TV poll that surveyed 800 likely voters in Sioux Falls, 70 percent of the city’s residents think traffic in the city is worse than it was five years ago. Twenty-seven percent feel things are about the same, and 3 percent say traffic is better. The poll has a margin of error of 3.5 percent.

Who is this 3 percent?

Get ready to drive on more crappy roads

I’m still wondering where legislators think the money is going to come from to repair roads? Obamacare? Gotta love the excuses to;

Opponents said even a modest increase in the tax on gasoline and diesel fuel could cause people to buy fuel across the border in other states, particularly Wyoming, which has a much lower tax.

Yeah, I’m going to drive to Wyoming to fill up my car . . .

Sen. Gordon Howie, R-Rapid City, who is running for governor, said the bill should be defeated because South Dakotans do not want to be hit with a large tax increase. He said a better option would be to reduce government red tape to encourage more industrial development, which in turn would lead to increased state sales tax receipts.

Huh. Gordon, please stop talking and go teabag someone on your own time, stop wasting South Dakotan’s time with your ridiculous comments. While I think industrial development is a good idea, what does it have to do with roads and sales tax receipts? We shouldn’t be fixing roads from taxing food and utilities. When are you dillweeds gonna figure that out?

The Legislature has always resisted using general tax revenue for roads, and has instead used fuel taxes, vehicle excise taxes and registration fees to pay for highways. The South Dakota Constitution requires that gas tax revenue be used for roads and bridges.

Gee, what a concept!

I would go a step further

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Drive me, no new tax fees

I think our legislators are on the right track when it comes to road funding, but I would do some tweaking on the proposal;

The bill would boost money for maintenance and construction projects on state and county roads throughout South Dakota. The state’s tax on gasoline would jump 5 cents a gallon by May 1 and another 5 cents in 2012. Vehicle registration fees also would rise over two years, as would the state’s excise tax on new vehicles.

I agree vehicle registration fees should go up, but I also think the whole system needs an overhaul. You should pay a higher rate based on the weight of your vehicle and it’s fuel efficency. If you drive a light vehicle that gets over 35 miles a gallon, your fees should be reduced. We should be rewarding people who choose to have less impact on our roads. I also think the excise tax on vehicles should be the same as food. I have never understood why we pay a higher rate on goods that are essential to life then we do on automobiles. The whole argument from the car dealership lobby will be that it will hurt sales. Bologna. You can finance your excise tax into your loan and spread that expense out over the life of your loan. It won’t hurt sales. While I think a gas tax is a fair way to fund roads, I would probably hold off on that for at least a year and see if the other two proposals work first. I like gas taxes because, like I mentioned with my registration fee idea, it has less impact on people who choose to drive more fuel efficient vehicles.

City of Sioux Falls plans to start on arterial street projects in 2010 even though developers haven’t held up their end of the bargain

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Just another boondoggle in the making.

I noticed that Item #25 of the city council meeting was a resolution approving the arterial street development schedule for 2010.

A RESOLUTION ESTABLISHING THE PRIORITY ORDER OF PROJECTS TO BE CONSTRUCTED IN 2010 UTILIZING THE CAPITAL IMPROVEMENT PROGRAM’S ARTERIAL STREET EXPANSION (DEVELOPMENT DRIVEN STREET) PROJECTS.

I find this quite sad and comical considering that we were told when our taxes were increased to pay for these roads that developers would be putting in 50%. Kind of wonder where that 50% will be coming from considering as of August the financial numbers were (page 2);

From the .08 cent increase; $1,815,000

From platting fees; $116,000

But even if you want to get technical, if you want to take the ‘Total’ of the entire second penny, it does not get much better;

From the .92 cent tax; $27,000,000

From platting fees; $434,000

The crux of all this, according to councilor Costello, is that we are $137 million dollars behind on road maintenance in Sioux Falls. Why would we be building NEW streets for developers (who are not ponying up their share) instead of fixing what we have first? Once the developers put in their 50% and we are caught up reasonably on maintenance, then let’s talk building roads outside of Tea, SD.

Once again, the public was lied to, and we will end up picking up the tab for the special interests. Pathetic.

I think any new fees and taxes are a bad idea, but at least these proposals are fair

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Legislature to consider ways to increase funding for roads;

A proposal discussed this week at the Joint Transportation Committee meeting in Pierre would raise the state’s share of the gasoline tax from 22 to 32 cents a gallon to generate $57 million for South Dakota road work.

Another idea involves a 1 percent hike in the excise tax on vehicle sales to add $19 million, and a third option would double the annual vehicle registration fee to add another $62 million to help fix roads.

I think all three of these ideas are fair. I guess I have never understood why we pay a higher rate of tax on food then we do on vehicles. Sounds silly to me. Stick it to the poor I guess, it is the South Dakota way.

I suppose I better comment about this . . . blah.

Smilin’ Mike Rounds is just full of ample advice;

For that to happen, Rounds told lawmakers at the opening of the 2009 legislative session Tuesday, the Legislature will need to resist the urge to spend more.

Thanks Mike. Good thing there wasn’t a mirror in front of you when you said that, cuz it would have freaking exploded!

Rounds held out hope that money from a federal stimulus plan could help South Dakota with some of its backlog in highway and bridge projects, but he said an increase in federal funding won’t solve all of the state’s problems. He asked lawmakers to review the situation with highway funding before proposing any increase in the state gas tax.

Cuz, God forbid I have to get on my hands and knees and kiss Obama’s ass. Well you better start puckering up.

Legislators are expected to consider fee increases for government services and licensing across a broad spectrum, including vehicle registration costs. He warned lawmakers that groups affected by fee increases would lobby them.

“These people and groups will argue they’re special and should continue to receive special treatment,” he said.

Like all of your campaign contributors?

“The State of the State is traditionally a time when the governor presents new directions – new initiatives,” Senate Minority Leader Scott Heidepriem said. “There was none of that.”

What governor are you talking about Scott?

Rounds compared several areas in South Dakota from where they were in 2002 – the year he first was elected – to where they are now. He said schools have made proficiency gains in both reading and math scores. And fewer high school graduates than before require remedial math and reading classes when entering college.

Yeah, test scores go up, when you don’t have all those High School dropouts bringing down your averages. South Dakota has one of the highest dropouts rates in the nation.

But in the end, the main concern for lawmakers isn’t what might be, but what is. And Rounds told lawmakers they would have to make tough choices.

“We can’t spend more than what we have,” he said.

Can you let Mayor Munson know that, I think he didn’t get the memo.

Tax Happy!

What a perfect time to raise taxes, while the economy is in the toilet. That’s our city government, always thinking (about their campaign contributors that is).

KELO-TV does a story;

Eight South Dakota communities will implement new municipal taxes or increase taxes on January 1.

And Sioux Falls is increasing its current 1.92 percent local sales tax to 2 percent.

I would like to thank anyone who signed the petition to lower the sales tax in 2010 to 1.90 this past weekend.

The Governor needs to take the wax out of his ears

After reading the budget address story in the Gargoyle Leader, I dove into a tiny little article buried on page 9A and not available online (that’s where the Liberal media puts their important stories I guess) the article detailed how Dems have been after Marion M. Rounds for three years about limiting the growth of State Government (you know, all those unneeded no-bid contracts to friends and family he has secretly deguised as FTE’s), but as usual, Mike refuses to listen to anyone but his inner greed and arrogance;

For three years, Democrats have tried to hold state government to the 3 percent budget increases allowed schools and counties, and we couldn’t get support,” said Dem Ben Nesselhuf of Vermillion, “If we’d been doing that for three years, maybe we’d have money.”

Democratic Rep. Bernie Hunhuff of Yankton also voiced concern about the property tax increase;

It could sow the seeds for another property tax revolt, and we don’t want that.

Get out the pitchforks and torches I guess.

I think Minority leader Scott Heidepriem of Sioux Falls, District 13, where I live, said it best when he called the governor’s budget “Cynical”

I guess I wouldn’t have had a problem with expanding state government if government services have become better, in fact they are either the same or worse since Rounds has taken office. Just look at the vehicle registration fiasco. So where did the millions go? This is about helping friends out, and now that he has broken the bank, he continues his state of denial and promises more cuts to education, salaries and road construction while failing to put his hand out to our new president who vows to ramp up infrastructure and domestic spending. Once again SD Republican leaders have proven the best way to fix problems is to tax and spend instead of making cuts.

Rounds Family Gravy Train to end? Don’t count on it.