UPDATE: Using Entertainment taxes for private entity setting a bad precedent

I first want to say I support finishing the State Theatre, I have actually helped with some charity fundraisers for the facility through ZombieWalk and SF Roller Dollz. I think it is a worthy cause and I applaud Denny Sanford for giving money to the goal of completion. But I think that is still the direction the theatre should move in, private donations for a private facility.

Using entertainment taxes sets a bad precedent, as I pointed out yesterday, and I will tell you why.

Seven years ago, former city clerk Debra Owen won an open meetings case over how her termination was handled. During the proceedings, City Attorney David Fiddle-Faddle argued his case based on the opinion of a former attorney general. 4 of the 5 attorneys who sat on the Open Meetings Commission contended that an ‘opinion’ of an AG is NOT case law, so it did not apply. When Fiddle continued to argue based on the AG’s opinion, one of the panelists asked David cynically, “You do understand that the opinion of a AG is not the same as case law? Don’t you?” The crowd in attendance let out an audible giggle. The commission determined that you have to base your arguments on tried case law, not opinions.

The City of Sioux Falls is trying to say they can spend the entertainment money on a private entity in the form of promoting the city based on a opinion of the AG in 1984. But there is NO case law. In other words, the city could be sued if they try to set this precedent. Even if I supported giving the State Theatre MORE tax money, which I don’t, it should come out of the CIP not the entertainment tax.

Listen to Allison Weiland talk about the State on Jon Michael’s Forum

In other news, Cameraman Bruce attended a luncheon today talking about open meeting laws, 3 of the panelists were former State Legislator Dave Knudson, Argus reporter Jonathan Ellis and Jon Arneson (Argus attorney). They all contended that the most recent open meeting laws that Knudson helped write, said that if text messaging or emails during a public open meeting are being used, that correspondence can be used in a court case. So council, if you were smart, you would put the phones and email chatting away during the meetings.


#1 Blasphemo on 06.28.19 at 6:15 pm

Another incidence of no regard for “going to any & all lengths to avoid the appearance of impropriety.” What. So. Ever.

#2 D@ily Spin on 06.29.19 at 6:56 am

The precedent has been set since Munson. The city is not government, it’s show business. Public money went to the Pavilion, Canaries Stadium, EC, and Indoor Pool not infrastructure. A TIF built Huether indoor tennis courts. There’s lots of recreation. It’s even an obstacle course to get there around potholes. With streets impassable there’s plenty of parking ramps for storing cars so we can walk via the bike trails but before dark. Isn’t it time for government? City officials had their wild years. Time to grow into responsible adults.

#3 anominous on 06.30.19 at 9:25 am

in a civilized town yes, but probably ought to imagine the worst thing that could happen and leave it closed. I’ve wrote it before, the surfaces are unrideable in places and the city don’t care. Especially after the flood a lot of those bridge underpasses are junked/can go into the drink easy.

#4 anominous on 06.30.19 at 9:26 am

oops meant that to go on the bike trail thread ^

#5 Hey Weilands, Wasn't 5m Enough For You? on 06.30.19 at 11:54 am

Listen to Allison Weiland talk about the State on Jon Michael’s Forum

I did.

I couldn’t believe after all these years of listening to the Weilands (Stacy) beg for money for the State Theatre, that I was listening to yet another Weiland (Allison)!

Not once during that 30 minutes on Jon Micheal’s program did I hear Ms. Weiland thank taxpayers for the 1.5m they just gifted her project.

Instead, she spent the entire time talking about how they need more money for restoration of the balcony and re-building the original organ.

Think about this. After years of UNSUCCESSFULLY trying to raise the funding to complete the restoration of the State Theatre, isn’t it possible that’s because a majority of SF residents really have no interest in this project??!!

#6 scott on 06.30.19 at 4:33 pm

how much money has the weiland family made off this place in salary over the years? is there a yearly financial report that the public can see?

#7 Who Owns the State Theatre? on 07.01.19 at 11:20 am


The State Theatre is purchased by the Sioux Falls Film Society for $200,000.


The Sioux Falls State Theatre Company purchases the State from the Film Society for unknown amount.


The State Theatre had been granted a new façade by the city’s façade easement program for (?) $125,000.


The State Theatre Chamber Appeals Campaign meets and surpasses its goal, raising $2.3 million.


Taxpayers ONE-TIME Donation 1.5m

T. Denny Sanford Gift 3.5m

The taxpayers are on the verge of making a one-time donation of 1.5m to Sioux Falls State Theatre Company.

Therefore, does it become public information who the owners of the Sioux Falls State Theatre Company are!?

#8 l3wis on 07.01.19 at 12:19 pm

They are listed as a ‘Public Charity’ non-profit with the IRS


#9 anonymous on 07.01.19 at 3:01 pm

Public Charity.

In other words, just like other taxpayer funded projects we will never know who we gave the 1.5m to.