Minnehaha County defends planned property tax opt outs
Revenues not keeping pace with inflation amid looming jail expansion
Minnehaha County commissioners are defending their use of opt out dollars in next year’s budget and subsequent future budgets.
The issue came up Tuesday ahead of the final adoption of next year’s budget later this month. The county anticipates using opt out dollars in next year’s budget – increasing revenue from a 2019 opt out by $1.5 million to help fund a $169 million total budget.
The longer-term plan calls for using a series of smaller opt outs in future years rather than taking one large opt out up front. That was the recommendation of a group of fiscal experts the county relies on known as the Financial Action Network. The group, which includes private sector business leaders, suggested smaller opt outs as a way to smooth the next several years of budgets.
Opt outs allow local governments in South Dakota to take more money in property taxes than state levy limits. However, they are also subject to voter referendum.
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