Entries Tagged 'Road Funding' ↓

Solutions to education and road funding


I don’t know who is more ignorant, my students or my state legislators

I recently thought a way to get more money for both would be for the public schools and counties split a statewide room tax. We could dedicate 100% to fixing roads and paying teachers.

I have often been baffled that the state doesn’t have such a tax, especially with all the business travel to Sioux Falls and tourism travel across the state.

Assbackwards road funding ideas

I was watching State Senator Mike Vehle talk about road funding ideas on 100 Eyes yesterday and just about spit out my coffee. One of the ideas is to PUNISH hybrid and electric car users. Mike suggested that Electric car users should pay an additional $80 registration fee, and Hybrid an additional $40, because they don’t use as much gas or no gas at all. Ludicrous. Most of those vehicles are very light, and do little damage to the roads, my Hybrid weighs under 1,500 lbs. (and the way I drive it, I doubt it touches the road much at all). Basically, what Mike is saying is that we should start charging people who ride bikes on the roads, because hey, they are using the roads and not contributing a gas tax.

You have to realize, we also fund road maintenance through sales taxes to, something us hippy Hybrid drivers and bicyclists also pay.

He also suggested that in the future we use a satellite monitoring system to track mileage. Really?! That is one of the most jackass ideas I have heard so far.

Let’s face it, the solutions are simple, and Mr. Content Strategist Lalley brought one of them up.

“Why not just lift all the exemptions that exist?”


For instance, farmers not having to pay registration on monster tractors and trailers that tear the crap out of the roads. START CHARGING THEM! Farming is a business, just like a contractor, and if they have to register their vehicles, farmers should to.

There are also other fair and equitable ways;

– Raise the gas tax.

– Charge registration based on weight and usage of vehicle. The heavier the vehicle, the more you pay.

– Tax vehicles the same rate as food and utilities. This idea is way past due.

– Have dealerships charge taxes at the time of purchase and give you license plates, why are we using county resources for this? Grocery stores collect taxes for the state, why can’t car dealerships? (This was a suggestion by commissioner Jeff Barth)

Once again the brain trust we call our state legislature wants to punish the poor and wise instead of the people who are actually damaging our roads the most. And we keep re-electing these fools.

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.


“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


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


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.


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


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.