A gift for Brian Johnson from the Aberdeen School District?

The Aberdeen American News is reporting today that the Abderdeen School District is set to re-evaluate a 3.8 Million Dollar outlay for the Simmons School Project if Amendment D passes, because they believe it will reduce their available funding by about $400,000:

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.

Read it all here.

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.


Anonymous said…
Lets stop all the hand wringing,
it is an election year and most candidates read this blog.

I believe that almost all (99%)of legislators will vote to keep the capital outlay funds revenue neutral if D passes.

If you are a legislator that will not vote to keep the capital outlay funds "WHOLE" as in revenue neutral, please declare so now, Us voters would like to know who you are in advance !!
PP said…
"it is an election year and most candidates read this blog."


That's actually flattering and humbling at the same time.
Bill Napoli said…
I am really disappointed to see what has happened with the Johnson/Hundstad race.
Before I get into that: Anon 8:56 makes a really good point. All that school district is trying to do is scare people into voting against Amendment D.
I spent 2 years researching and writing Amendment D. I did a lot of research and I found out through the Legislative Research Council that for the last 50 years or so, fixed mil levies, HAVE NEVER BEEN REDUCED. These fixed mil levies have always been increased to keep up with inflation, etc.

Anon 8:56 is correct, if Amendment D passes no legislator in his or her right mind would vote against raising fixed mil levies to guarantee necessary funding for capital outlay, pension fund, special education fund, and other funds.

These scare tactics have been used before and are a common method of defeating ballot measures by people who are not smart enough to figure out that if they stopped raising taxes excessively and needlessly on people, then the people who are paying the property taxes might be more willing to adequately fund our schools.

The second part is I believe it was a mistake to use Amendment D to defeat Hundstad.
What kind of an idiot would take a measure that has been drafted, sponsored, and supported by many senior Republicans, then uses that measure to try to defeat a Democrat?

Did these people think for one minute that there would not be a lot of very upset Republicans who do support Amendment D? If these Republican leaders who figured out this risky political scheme were trying to defeat Hundstad and Amendment D at the same time, then they deserve the backlash they have received.

There is a lot of support out there for Amendment D.
I love politics, so let's have a debate between Johnson and Hundstad, but it was a mistake to draw Amendment D into this fracas.
Now with Johnson being manipulated by inept Republican leaders, not only has Democrats working against him, but Republicans as well. It’s a shame, because I did not want this to happen.
Anonymous said…
Why is it all the D supporters can do is to talk about all the things the legislature will or will not do? Isn't this supposed to be a simple law? Napoli talked about at least four different things he'll have to introduce in his bill to fix it the other night on KELO, just in the couple minutes he had to talk. If he spent two years working on it, why are all the bills needed? And what makes him think a legislator is going to vote HIS way to fix it? He's already said he introduced D because he couldn't get them to go along with his idea in the first place.

What a mess.
Anonymous said…
Well,, its been almost 24 hrs and no names yet....

Come on ya'all, identify yourselves, all you legislators that are going to take money from the schools capital outlay fund.
Anonymous said…
Is anon 9:48 serious? He doesn't even identify himself on his comments and he wants all the legislators to do so? What a hypocrite!
Anonymous said…
anon 2:31 AM

You didnt identify yourself and I am the hypocrite,,haha

My name is Rick Kriebel from Rapid City, how bout you ?

The opponents of amendment D say it will reduce their funding for capital outlay. The first sentence of amendment D is "The legislature is empowered..." The legislature can raise or lower taxes under D, just like they can now. The legislature can cut the revenue for capital outlay right now, in fact, in 2005 a bill was introduced to cap it at 3% like the general fund/student. Therefore, if the revenue for the capital outlay funds for the schools are reduced, it will be because the LEGISLATURE decided to do so, not because of amendment D.

Since the opponents claim the funds WILL BE CUT, I think it is apropriate to ask the legislators that will do the cutting to identify themselves, ARE YOU ONE ?
Anonymous said…
This was Hundstad on KELO last night:

"Amendment D supporter Sen. Jim Hundstad says, "Today our property tax system is based on a system of equalization which means that basically everybody pays the same level of taxes. Amendment D proposes to change that to say you pay taxes based on what you pay for your house."

Hundstad says the measure would give schools more money because if homes are assessed at a higher price, taxes would go up.

Hundstad says, "I suggest to you we'll see more money available for the schools instead of that high priced property having it's higher priced property equalized down to the rest of us."

Hmmm: looks like he's saying D is a tax increase?

Who's that going to P.O. more: Napoli or the voters in Hundstad's district?

Looks like Johnson could be a shoe-in
Anonymous said…
As I read this article the Aberdeen School District has said the assessments will roll back to 2003. As I understand Amendment D the assessment will go back to 2003 and move forward at 3% for the years of 04, 05, 06 thereby giving the property their 2007 assessment. How did the school district do the math? Did they use 2003 or did they use 2003 and move forward with the 3% added to assesments?? Sounds like more lets scare the voters with slick tricks. YES on Amendment D for me.
Anonymous said…
Slick trick? An elected body chooses to be prudent and not commit to any spending unless they are certain they can afford it without a tax increase.

Sound to me more like they're doing what they were elected to do: exercise common sense with our money.
Anonymous said…
Hey 10:41, I bet you want JAIL to pass too so you can sue those slick lying school board members.

how about you back to California.

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