A gift for Brian Johnson from the Aberdeen School District?
Read it all here.
The Aberdeen school district's capital outlay budget is expected to lose almost $400,000 annually if South Dakota voters approve Amendment D on Nov. 7.
If that happens, the construction/renovation project at Simmons Middle School could be scaled back - but not necessarily.
The school board indicated Tuesday night it would examine the entire $3.8 million capital outlay budget for the 2006-07 school year to look for ways to trim $400,000 if Amendment D passes.
The amendment would roll most property values back to their 2003 values, until the property changes hands after Jan. 1, 2007. Then, the taxable value would be based on acquisition value. Taxable value is based on actual value now.
Tom Janish, the district's finance director, told the board Tuesday he estimates an annual drop of $387,000 in capital outlay revenue for the district if the amendment passes.
That's because passage would reduce the district's billion-dollar-plus tax base by about $129 million, he said. The district cannot raise the capital outlay levy to make up the difference because it's already at $3 per $1,000 of assessed value, the maximum levy allowed by law.
Now, why do I call the School District talking about this a gift to Republican State Senate Candidate Brian Johnson? Because Brian is challenging incumbent Democratic Senator Jim Hundstad who has been one of the principle proponents of Amendment D, and has spent considerable time promoting it.
While this project is not directly in his District, he may very likely have some constituents who would attend it. And statements like this from the school district might hit close enough to home to cause Hundstad headaches. Especially when his District and this one share the major source of news for the region, the Aberdeen American. This provides easy cannon fodder for Brian in his electoral battle.
Of course, this would also place some Republicans who support the measure at odds with Brian, especially it's Republican originator, Senator Bill Napoli.
This race has been somewhat of a sleeper match up until the past couple of weeks. However, I expect it could hit a point with Hundstad trying to validate his position on several tax issues while Brian actually runs for the office.