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School Boards Propose Extra-Penny Summer Sales Tax to Halve Teacher Pay Gap with ND

The Associated School Boards of South Dakota have a plan for starting to raise our rock-bottom teacher salaries to competitive levels by charging more sales tax in the summer:

The average salary for a teacher in South Dakota is $40,023, and even that amount is not competitive with neighboring states, according to data presented to lawmakers.

North Dakota teachers earn $48,666 a year on average, compared to $49,545 in Nebraska, $51,662 in Iowa and $57,230 in Minnesota. South Dakota has the lowest teacher salaries in the country, according to older data from the National Center for Education Statistics.

"Where are you going to go as a teacher?" SASD Executive Director Rob Monson said. "We identify it as a critical problem right now."

To catch up with North Dakota, the state would have to spend an extra $80 million a year on teacher salaries. By increasing sales tax by a penny in June, July and August, the state would be able to increase its average pay for teachers to about $44,000 – still short of North Dakota, but a start, [ASBSD exec Wade] Pogany said [Patrick Anderson, "Higher Teacher Pay from Sales Tax? One Lawmaker Says Yes," that Sioux Falls paper, 2014.09.08].

Joe Lowe proposed something like this during the Democratic gubernatorial primary last spring. The proposal is one eighth of the initiated measure that voters rejected in 2012 to add an extra penny to the sales tax and split the proceeds between education and health care.

ASBSD received the usual statements of interest in a conversation from lawmakers at yesterday's Legislative Planning Committee meeting but no firm commitments to turn this plan or any other into action to end the embarrassing exploitation of teachers that has is driving oodles of talent out of South Dakota's K-12 labor pool.

The paucity of respect, guts, and imagination in Pierre leaves us grasping for suboptimal solutions like expanding our regressive taxes instead of following the example of our bank income tax, changing the productivity tax into a real and fairer agricultural income tax, and looking for other sources of revenue that would not heap the burden of supporting schools further on low-income citizens. We've got to do something, but let's seek better, fairer revenue sources for our teachers and our future before we dig ourselves deeper into dependence on sales tax.


  1. Roger Cornelius 2014.09.09

    If the teacher groups that support salary increase put forth and initiated measure demanding that all lottery revenue by used for education, I'd sign it in a heart beat.

    Way back when gaming was first approved for South Dakota, the selling point was that income derived would be used for education. South Dakotans were duped once again. I don't know why lottery proceeds are not used entirely for education, but obviously it didn't happen.

  2. Curt 2014.09.09

    Yep. Right problem, wrong solution.

  3. Wayne B. 2014.09.09

    Roger, I wonder how many people would vote for that bill if they were told their property taxes would then also increase by about 30%... further burdening those with the least ability to pay. The average home owner in Sioux Falls would be paying upwards of $1,000 extra a year.

  4. Roger Elgersma 2014.09.09

    Wayne, if I said the sky was going to fall in if you wanted teachers to get paid better, would you believe it and then blame that for the sales tax not going up. I know that trick would work in South Dakota policitics, although you would have to blame the democrats somewhere in the process, but would it be correct.

  5. Greg 2014.09.09

    So Cory , it looks like instead of a sales tax that everyone would share in participation you think that agriculture and the banking should shoulder the increase in revenue. We're back to, I support a tax increase as long it will not cost me anything.

  6. Cranky Old Dude 2014.09.09

    While SD is last in teacher pay, it doesn't even make the bottom ten for total spent per student. Why the difference? Where does the money go?
    Ultimately, doesn't the decsion on what to pay employees rest with the individual school board? Maybe they need to look at adjusting their priorities before we start sucking more money out of people's pockets. This funding always seems to have a way of "disappearing" before it reaches the classroom.

  7. Steve Sibson 2014.09.09

    "The paucity of respect, guts, and imagination in Pierre"

    Anybody on this web site know how to cut spending in one area and redirect to teacher pay? Why is raising taxes the only option for simpletons?

  8. Wayne B. 2014.09.09

    Roger, I can't even interpret what you're trying to say... I'm not Chicken Little, and I'm not a party line rube.

    I want better pay for teachers.

    However, I'm concerned with Mr. Cornelius's proposal to essentially force property owners to cough up an extra $1.7 BILLION collectively in what is unarguably a regressive tax.

    I'm concerned that the elimination of the property tax reduction on Ag land will force even more CRP land to be converted to crop ground and decimate a multi-billion dollar tourism industry.

    Under Mr. Cornelius's proposal, my property taxes would go up $720. My family can afford that, but it will change our spending habits. We won't magically get a raise to cover those costs, so we'll cut back in other areas. It's still a net gain for the state because the state will only lose out of $40 in sales tax revenue. However, local businesses will lose out in $680 of our funds. That has consequences too.

    I'm more concerned about my neighbors who live together as extended families just to make ends meet. Can they really afford the extra bill? Not really.

    Mr. Elgersma, do you honestly believe increasing property taxes by 30% would have no impact?

  9. Douglas Wiken 2014.09.09

    Farmers should pay the equivalent of an income tax, but everybody else should be exempt from income tax?

    Education in rural areas already gets a disproportionate amount of funding from ag land. In the Winner district something less than 20% of students come from farms, but something in neighborhood of 80% of tax revenue for school comes from Ag land.

    Tax ag land by the square foot of value when lawyers offices, doctors, accountants, real estate agents offices, etc are taxed by the square foot on the basis of income generated per square foot.

  10. Curt 2014.09.09

    I know I shouldn't, but I'll pick up the rope and engage with you, Sibby ... and without engaging in name-calling (e.g. 'simpletons').
    The simple fact is that SD relies on the country's broadest (and one of the highest) sales and use taxes to support the necessary functions of government. That, along with a heavy reliance on property tax. Lots of things are NEVER taxed in SD. Advertising, almost anything related to ag, income earned (but not taxed) in SD and deposited in in-state or out-of-state corporate coffers, income earned (but not taxed) in SD and used to purchase out-of-state vacation homes, other goods and services purchased elsewhere, etc., etc., etc.
    Face it. We in SD must decide whether we are willing to accept the fact that we truly do not honor, respect, and value education or agree to find a mechanism to pay for it. Of course there is excess spending in state govt. But where do you want to cut? Prisons?

  11. Douglas Wiken 2014.09.09

    "Lots of things are NEVER taxed in SD. Advertising, almost anything related to ag, "

    That is sure good to hear. Why are we sending property tax payments to the county when most of it allegedly goes to education?

    We better let them know that nothing involving agriculture is taxed.

  12. Roger Cornelius 2014.09.09

    Therein lies the rub Wayne, everyone wants better pay for teachers and more money for schools, but when recommendations to increase that pay there is usually a "no" because it affects somebody's bottom line. Everybody has a good idea except for how it personally affects me, with that opinion, teacher pay will be stuck where it is for another ten years.
    Remember now that revenue from gaming was to got to education, we voted on it several times to protect education funding. I feel that South Dakotans have once again deceived.
    Just when it became state policy to be used to reduce property taxes, I don't know.
    Had the South Dakota state legislature honored the promise of gaming for education, we would not be having this discussion about poor teacher pay.

  13. Steve Sibson 2014.09.09

    "But where do you want to cut? Prisons?"

    If we want to reduce the prison population, then we need to cut the state Dept. of Ed who pushed the self-esteem health curriculum down our throats beginning in the 1990s. By reforming education, we would also be able to reduce the Dept of Social Services.

    Instead of building a $13.5 million Fine Arts Center, the Mitchell School District should instead pay that to deserving teachers. But that idea did not get me on the School Board last night. Instead they picked the daughter-in-law of one of Mitchell's crony capitalist.

  14. Bill Fleming 2014.09.09

    Related to Sibby's thing (sort of.) I think it's odd when people talk about gaming revenues as somehow being egalitarian or whatever. Like the taxes on booze and cigarettes, gambling revenues affect those most who suffer from addiction. Last survey I say showed over 80% of gaming revenues coming from 20% of casino customers. I've heard it described as "a special tax for the mathematically challenged."

    Let's be honest here. We collect a lot of revenue from people who are seriously sick in body and mind in order to keep our property taxes low and avoid a fair, across the board state income tax.

    Think about it. If everybody got healthy and quit drinking, smoking and gambling, under our current system, our state would go broke. Sad but true.

    On the upside, maybe we should thank the addicts for propping up our states economy instead of looking down our noses at them.

    Pitch that next time you run, Sibby, instead of trying to trash the Arts. Because, I'll argue that Art is the one addiction that makes everybody everywhere feel good about themselves. For generations!

    And it teaches creativity, something we're sorely lacking in all areas of endeavor. South Dakota's Tourism Industry centers around a big piece of sculpture and the arts, crafts and culture of Roger's ancestors.

    *climbs down off soapbox*

    p.s. sorry you didn't win your election, Sibby. It might have given you something more meaningful to do with your hands.

    Ever thought of taking up ceramics?

  15. Craig 2014.09.09

    Steve - perhaps it has more to do with her experience as an actual teacher or her position as adjunct professor for DWU that allowed her to win by a vote of 4-0. In a five way race it is hard to say what position you found yourself in, but based upon your views of public education and your extreme ideas concerning religion, I cannot imagine a scenario where you would have earned a single vote. Perhaps there is a learning opportunity here... for you.

    I'll say this much however - I know Theresa Kriese, and she is an excellent judge of character. If she believes Musick was the most qualified for the position then I have no reason to suspect the vote was due to anything other than those qualifications. Your jealousy and coveting of a family which has done well financially won't earn you any support... but it does make you quite the hypocrite.

  16. Steve Sibson 2014.09.09

    "Perhaps there is a learning opportunity here... for you."

    Money and power is more important than principles.

    And, even liberal Democrats support crony capitalism. Her mother was a Janklow aid that appeared on 2004 Daschle Campaign ads representing Republicans for Daschle. Fleming, did you put that ad together? How much money did you make from the Daschle campaign?

    So back to the point of this post: would paying teachers be more important than building a Fine Arts Center?

  17. Steve Sibson 2014.09.09

    "Your jealousy and coveting"

    Proposing a summer time sales on out of state tourists is coveting. I don't want Musick's money.

  18. Craig 2014.09.09

    Actually Steve, I'm pretty sure your principles are exactly why you were never given serious consideration.

    Now stop the coveting of others and go back to doing whatever it is you do. My Sibson-BINGO card is missing the "keynesian" space for today so if you could find a way to tie this into the discussion I'd be very grateful.

  19. Steve Sibson 2014.09.09

    So Craig and Bill say Fine Arts buildings are more important than paying teachers. What about the rest of you? (Since you falsely accused me of coveting, you are no judge of character. I have a respectable and cordial relationship with Kriese and the rest of the Mitchell School Board. Having disagreements on policy should not change that. Sad that you turn disagreements into personal attacks.)

  20. Craig 2014.09.09

    As to taxes, I'm not a fan of using regressive sales taxes to fund anything... so I think we can do better.

    What about vehicle registration and license plate fees? There is no reason plates for a 2006 Kia Rio valued at $2100 should cost more than those for a 1967 Ford Mustang GT500 valued at $160,000. We should base fees upon the value of a vehicle rather than weight and age. Yes this would upset the RV crowd who calls SD home for tax purposes, but I think we will be ok.

    Next, examine the budget with a microscope. Every department starts with a 5% cut to their budget from last year and they have to make their case why they shouldn't have to suffer with everyone else and why they are more important than educators. Legislators should also be making the case for deeper cuts where applicable. Time to make the hard decisions.

    Also what about taxing income earned in South Dakota for non-residents who do not pay any income taxes in their home states? This would resolve some of the loopholes that allow people to earn money here even when they don't bother setting foot in our borders (which means they aren't paying sales taxes or property taxes here either).

    Then we can start taxing advertising. The Argus, KELO, and Craig Lawrence won't like it, but there is no reason why it isn't taxed already. I realize politicians like to advertise a lot during every election cycle, but it is well past time for them to pay their fair share. Why should taxpayers subsidize such nonsense?

    There are a lot of ways to generate revenue or cut spending - we just need lawmakers willing to make the difficult choices. I realize we don't have much chance of a true income tax in South Dakota and anyone who suggests it guarantees they will lose in the next election, but if we can't do that then we need to get creative. We cannot continue to balance the budget and meet the needs of the state on the backs of those who can least afford it, thus regressive taxes are not the answer.

  21. Craig 2014.09.09

    Steve: "So Craig and Bill say Fine Arts buildings are more important than paying teachers."

    I never said that nor did I even imply it. You sir are a liar, and that isn't a personal attack... it is a fact.

  22. Bill Fleming 2014.09.09

    Fine Arts buildings ARE education. I didn't say anything about either being more or less important. Anyone who knows me knows they are both top priorities of mine. I do believe people learn more if the creative arts are incorporated into the lessons. Teach the whole brain, not just half of it.

    That's what TV, radio and internet ads and programs do, and why people watch and learn from them.

  23. Bill Fleming 2014.09.09

    Craig, you know what they call Sibby's basement?
    The Whine Cellar.

  24. Steve Sibson 2014.09.09

    "I never said that nor did I even imply it."

    Craig, Musick supports the fine arts. I am on record saying the Fine Arts Center is a malinvestment and I made a clear argument that instead teachers deserve that money. You sided with Musick, and personally attacked me, therefore you are implicated. Your hatred also seems to be more important than increased teacher pay.

  25. Bill Fleming 2014.09.09

    Okay, fair question, Sibby. I would go with schools and hire creative teachers.

  26. Bill Fleming 2014.09.09

    ...but you would have to prove there's not enough money for both. Can you?

  27. Steve Sibson 2014.09.09

    "Can you?"

    Yes, the post says they want to add a sales tax in order to pay teachers and most on this post argue for more revenue, which assumes there is not enough money.

  28. Craig 2014.09.09

    Actually Steve, I didn't "side with Musick" and if you read my posts you would see where I stated "perhaps it has more to do with her experience as an actual teacher or her position as adjunct professor for DWU that allowed her to win" and "If [Kriese] believes Musick was the most qualified for the position then I have no reason to suspect the vote was due to anything other than those qualifications".

    That is attempting to explain why she won Steve, simply because I don't follow your excuses that she won only because she happens to be "the daughter-in-law of one of Mitchell's crony capitalist [sic]".

    You ignore her credentials - you ignore her experience - you ignore her statements and her viewpoints. You immediately attack her due to her relationship with what you describe as a "crony capitalist" which shows that not only are you bitter, but you are jealous, and by associating her win with a relationship to someone who is financially well off (who you immediately label a crony capitalist most likely based upon nothing other than the fact he has been very succesful), you also imply you are guilty of coveting - thus you are by extension also a hypocrite.

    You can accuse me of personally attacking you if it makes you feel better, but I don't see my statements as attacks - I see them as factual observations. Thus your lies about me (including your assumptions on what my priorities are as well as ignorant assumptions surrounding any percieved hatred) are off base and once again show your lack of character. Which when you think about it... is exactly one of the traits which makes you unfit for a school board. Again, not an attack - just a factual observation (or at the very least a personal opinion based upon your own words and actions).

    You might notice another comment where I suggested other ways we could raise teacher pay that would not involve raising sales taxes... you know - sort of the actual topic? So please don't lecture me about how I don't care about teacher pay when you aren't even engaging in the actual topic and instead use this as your personal soap box to complain about losing to someone who was more qualified and more experienced.

    Newsflash Steve - it isn't about you. It is about teachers being paid more, and your myopic view of one Fine Arts Center isn't going to solve the issue nor does it have any bearing on a statewide sales tax proposal.

  29. Bill Fleming 2014.09.09

    So that's your proof that they had to choose between an arts center and higher pay to teachers?

    Are you sure Mitchell couldn't do both?

    Did Musick specifically say she didn't want to pay teachers more?

    Or are you using the Arts Center as whipping boy?

    What other things is Mitchell spending money on? Are they all more important than paying teachers and building an Art Center? That's the way I'd look at it.

    Otherwise, you're creating a false choice Sibby.

    Do you have a hidden agenda to scuttle the Arts Center?

  30. Roger Cornelius 2014.09.09

    Why does the comment section on so many threads become about Sibson?
    There is not a liberal I know that would endorse teacher pay over fine arts or vice versa, both are equally needed for a balance in the community. If you can do one, you can do the other.
    As South Dakota maintains a third world existence, other states endorse the arts as economic development. There are now states beside New York and California, New Mexico and Montana, where the arts and entertainment are a vital part of their economy. While other states profit generously from arts and entertainment, South Dakota Republicans choose to pump millions into failed agricultural programs.

  31. Bill Fleming 2014.09.09

    Roger, sorry. You're right of course. No more back and forth with Sibby for me on this thread. And I'll try to restrain on others. To me, it's like a cat to catnip. I can't resist giving him a tweak when he shows up. Bad. I know. Thanks for the heads up.

  32. Steve Sibson 2014.09.09

    "I don't see my statements as attacks - I see them as factual observations."

    Craig, I am ending the conversation because you continue to take this off topic in pursuit of a personal agenda. I produced facts about Musick crony capitalism. You have not heard from others who were interviewed. So since you don't know what you are talking about, and you are not reception to learning, there is no reason why I should continue this conversation.


  33. Steve Sibson 2014.09.09

    "Otherwise, you're creating a false choice Sibby."

    Bill, you should study the economic concept of opportunity costs:

    Simply using debt to make future tax payers pay for the Fine Arts building is a form of coveting and also deceives people into thinking we can afford it and pay teachers more too. We can't do more without raises taxes and thereby reducing economic growth or create a recession.

  34. Steve Sibson 2014.09.09

    Roger, the crony capitalists in Mitchell are all too happy to build the Fine Arts Center because they make money building it and they make money when out of town people use it. They do not want to pay teachers more, nor will they increase taxes, because they need facilitators of standards, not teachers of knowledge. Their goal for public education is to provide skills needed for a 21st Century globally planned economy that makes the rich richer and the poor poorer.

  35. Roger Cornelius 2014.09.09

    Thanks Bill, maybe can start having a productive conversation about our education system and teacher pay.

    Here's something else besides gaming revenue I would like to toss out here for consideration.

    The state has tremendous reserves, I believe we put $10 million in reserves this year alone, what the actual numbers are I don't know. I do believe that the state should have reserves to protect itself from future GOP disasters.

    What prevent South Dakotans from using a portion of the interest income on the reserve accounts to bring our teacher pay and education to a least a national minimum?

  36. Roger Cornelius 2014.09.09

    As you know, Rapid City residents have been having some pretty heated debates over the proposed new civic center, those debates have not linked to the statewide need for teacher pay. Those that are not from Rapid City aren't interested in what we as a community do or don't do.
    The same is true with someone being denied a seat on the school board in a town a couple miles away from us.
    The Mitchell Fine Arts building is a community decision just as a new Civic Center is a community decision.
    I doubt that either project can be directly tied to teacher pay or education funding.

  37. Bill Fleming 2014.09.09

    What do you suppose the interest rate on the reserves averages, Roger?
    Looks like there is about $95 million in there. Figure 5% annual (conservative, I'm thinking) and there's about $4.75 million to work with. Chump change to the Joopster maybe, but divide it by 10,000 teachers in and that gives every teacher a $500 a year raise. It's a start. $8,000 each more to go.
    (see bottom 2 grafs for reserve totals)

  38. Bill Fleming 2014.09.09

    Roger, yes, I know. I don't think the School Board gets to decide how the City spends all of its citizens' money. But maybe in Sibby's parallel unicorn world it does. :-)

  39. Bill Fleming 2014.09.09

    Whoa! Sibby just found another $220 million! Do the same interest rate thing and add at least another $1,100 or so to each teachers annual pay. That brings each teacher's raise up to $1,600 and the various reserve principle amounts are all still in the bank. Which begs the question. How much of a rainy day fund do those entities really need anyway?

  40. Roger Elgersma 2014.09.09

    Wayne, I did not see anything that said we would automatically raise property taxes if we raise sales tax. Was it written into the bill or just assumed? It appeared that it was assumed but I may be wrong.

  41. Steve Sibson 2014.09.09

    "In the two years since, the statewide total of unobligated general funds went up $23 million."

    That means that the schools received more revenue than what the spent. More revenue should be off the table. The teacher shortage was caused by not spending what they already have, plus there is plenty of money spent on brick and mortar that should be redirected to those inside the brick and mortar.

  42. Roger Elgersma 2014.09.09

    About the huge reserves. Money should be used for what it was intended. Some conservatives are real insistent that we never take a penny out of reserves other than the interest income from them. Because they like a poor state to sit on a big pile of money. Maybe they can afford that at home. But when the tobacco money came via the courts it was totally intended to be used for health care. But NO, we put it in a investment account to sit on. Now we seem real sure we do not want to spend on health care for everyone even though the feds are putting money in and we have a pot full in reserves which was never intended to be a reserve but was intended to be used for health care. In conservative South Dakota we are like the rich man and Lazeras and some day might wonder why we did that.

  43. Bill Fleming 2014.09.09

    Sibby, can you explain this from the link you just posted? Looks like Mitchell is hanging on to over 28% of something, but I don't understand what. Thanks.

    "Guindon analyzed the amounts of unobligated general funds by school enrollments.

    He said the two largest school districts, Sioux Falls and Rapid City, were about 20 percent.

    The group of districts with the next largest enrollments, such as Aberdeen, Watertown, Yankton, Mitchell, Pierre, Sturgis and Spearfish, averaged 28.39 percent in 2013."

  44. Roger Cornelius 2014.09.09

    Bill and Sibson, those are really good finds, the cumulative totals are on all state reserves accounts would be interesting.
    Roger, how much money did we receive from big tobacco and would it have been enough to pay for Medicaid Expansion, if the intended use was for healthcare?

  45. Craig 2014.09.09

    Steve: "Craig, I am ending the conversation because you continue to take this off topic in pursuit of a personal agenda."

    Yes because it was I who introduced the subject of losing a school board election and it was I who started complaining about "crony capitalism". How dare I take this off topic with my lengthy post on ideas to find revenue to increase teacher pay!

    Steve: "I produced facts about Musick crony capitalism."

    No, you produced information about the father-in-law of the candidate who won the school board vote. You didn't provide anything to suggest she isn't qualified for the position nor did you offer an explanation for how her years as a teacher, years as a parent, and current role as adjunct professor at DWU should be ignored in lieu of her relationship with her father-in-law. In short, you are accusing the school board of relying upon name recognition and complaining that is the only reason they voted for her.

    That diminishes her experience, qualifications and history, and frankly it is disgusting, selfish, and petty. On the flip side you offered zero evidence to support why you might be more qualified other than to voice concern about the idea of a Fine Arts Center. No mention of your relevent experience or history or anything to do with education. No mention of prior boards you have sat on, involvement in community education programs, or even a passing interest in actual children.

    Yet we are to believe you would have made a better school board member based upon what exactly? Your anti-common core stance? Your belief that the Bible has more of a place in the schools than does the teaching of evolution? Your reliance upon a false argument that a Fine Arts Center would somehow prevent Mitchell from raising teacher pay?

    Steve: "You have not heard from others who were interviewed. So since you don't know what you are talking about, and you are not reception to learning, there is no reason why I should continue this conversation."

    That's right Steve - take your ball and run on home. However before you do, you might keep something in mind... your assumptions have been wrong before, and your assumptions are still wrong. You have no idea what I know of the Mitchell school board election or the other candidates. You don't know me - so you don't know me. Please don't pretend you do.

    That being said, if you were the only candidate running for an open seat I'd be certain "none of the above" would do a better job. Much like a doctor has an oath to first do no harm, so should members of the school board. I cannot possibly imagine a scenario where your viewpoints would not harm the children and teachers of the Mitchell school district so thank [insert your choice of deity here] you were NOT selected.

  46. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.09.09

    Greg, I support a state income tax that would offset our regressive sales tax and would hit me hard for all the money I make from the massive Google traffic I draw when Steve Sibson takes a post off track. Ha!

    The bank franchise tax and the productivity tax simply demonstrate that our state is already open to an income tax; we just need to be honest about it and generalize it.

  47. owen reitzel 2014.09.09

    "If we want to reduce the prison population, then we need to cut the state Dept. of Ed who pushed the self-esteem health curriculum down our throats beginning in the 1990s. By reforming education, we would also be able to reduce the Dept of Social Services."
    And hence the problem with education in South Dakota. It's the teachers fault. I might agree with Sibby about the Arts Center in Mitchell but I don't live in Mitchell. My question is Steve how do you define a deserving teacher?

  48. Wayne B. 2014.09.09

    "Wayne, I did not see anything that said we would automatically raise property taxes if we raise sales tax. Was it written into the bill or just assumed? It appeared that it was assumed but I may be wrong."

    Roger, currently 30% of lottery proceeds go to relieve property tax rates. If we mandated all 100% of lottery proceeds go to fund education, then the buy-down of property taxes would cease, thus a 30% increase.

    I'd prefer even an additional penny sales tax year round - at least that kind of shock to family budgets can be dealt with through appropriate planning and belt tightening. You can't get out of the property tax increase unless you sell your house and downsize. That's rough.

  49. Sam 2 2014.09.09

    This is just more tax and spend liberalism. It is time for schools to cut administration positions and out that money towards teachers. This was the same thought process that Rounds put into EB5. Just throw money at a problem. Time for education to start being education

  50. JeniW 2014.09.09

    IMO, there is more to the issue than the teachers' salary.

    Part of the problem, from my perspective is that the state painted itself into a corner without being proactive in funding education. It became too dependent on the sin taxes, and became complacent seeking ways to find reliable funding sources.

    Depending on gaming and other "sin" taxes is a piss pour way of doing business because those taxes are not reliable.

    It does seem strange to say "yes, teachers need to be paid more, but it should be someone else who should pay for it, not me."

  51. Steve Sibson 2014.09.09

    "It's the teachers fault."

    No it is the curriculum's fault, which is implemented by "facilitators." A deserving teacher is one you sees the faults in curriculum and corrects them. That will be more and more impossible when the state puts cameras in the classroom and makes implementing the Common Core the standard upon which the facilitators are evaluated. That concern was discussed during my interview with the Mitchell School Board last night. Instead of fighting that, they decided to continue the "progress". Meaning, the crony capitalists' "business-driven curriculum" (found in Daugaard's Workforce Summit report) will be implemented by low paid "facilitators." The kids will love it because they will be entertained in the Fine Arts building built by the crony capitalists and financed by the banks.

  52. Steve Sibson 2014.09.09

    "state is already open to an income tax"

    You are dreaming Cory. Yes, the point of this post is to promote more taxes to pay facilitators. That is a dream that will never happen. The facilitators will soon be happy to be paid anything has they are being replaced with technology, just like the rest of society.

  53. larry kurtz 2014.09.09

    mark o' the beast: real wrath of god type stuff.

  54. JeniW 2014.09.09

    Wayne, and others, just as a reminder people who rent homes, apartments, business sites and etc also pay property taxes. The property tax is figured into the amount of rent.

  55. larry kurtz 2014.09.09

    focus, steve: you can do this.

  56. BOHICA 2014.09.09

    Good Lord. How stupid are we people?

    If our future lies in educating our children and retaining them in South Dakota we need 1) the best education/educators we can afford, and 2) good paying jobs to retain them within South Dakota.

    It is embarrassing to see our elected legislators not see these basic building blocks and get it figured out. Perhaps we need a new electorate who can figure this out. Being 50th in teacher pay doesn't work for me...and I don't even have kids in a school system at my age.

  57. Deb Geelsdottir 2014.09.09

    This is a great discussion, with unintended humor.

    JeniW said, ' "sin" taxes is a piss pour way of doing business because those taxes are not reliable.'

    Piss Pour? Hahahahahahahaha! And gross at the same time. Where does it get poured too? Out of what?

    Thanks for the comic relief.

  58. JeniW 2014.09.10

    You caught my boo-boo Deb, and in a fun way, thank you.

    I meant "piss poor." It was an expression I heard a number of times as I was growing up. It implies of lacking of good/pure quality.

    Piss comes from our urinary track, so every time we urinate, we pour the waste product from our body into a toilet, behind a tree/bush, outhouses, or wherever. :)

    The state collecting and dependent on revenue from gambling, tobacco products, alcohol (the "sins,") is not the best way to do business, for obvious reasons. Thus, it is a piss poor way of collecting revenue.

    Thank you for the laugh Deb!! :)

  59. Deb Geelsdottir 2014.09.10

    The thanks is mutual, JeniW.

  60. Steve Sibson 2014.09.10

    "The state collecting and dependent on revenue from gambling, tobacco products, alcohol (the "sins,") is not the best way to do business, for obvious reasons."

    That is why the state has a vested interest to promote immorality in the government schools.

  61. larry kurtz 2014.09.10

    immorality: like teaching graft, sib?

  62. JeniW 2014.09.10

    When I attended public schools I was forced to take classes on how to gamble. Even how to play video lottery even though video lottery was not invented at that time.

    I was forced to drink, and to like, all forms of alcohol. We even had to take field trips to the breweries and forced to sample by the cup full every half hour.

    We were forced to use tobacco products so that we were addicted to nicotine by the age of 10.

    Alas, though the schools were not successful in teaching me immorality. I do not not spend/waste my money on any form of gambling. I do not consume alcohol, even at churches that serve alcohol during communion. I don't smoke or chew, so not addicted to nicotine.

    Absolutely, the public schools failed to teach me immorality, so who do I sue? Most, if not all my teachers are long dead, the same with the members of the school Board and administration. My parents are long dead so I cannot sue them either for making me attend public schools. Where to go from here?


  63. Craig 2014.09.10

    Sam: "This is just more tax and spend liberalism."

    This talking point just doesn't jive in South Dakota. Liberals haven't had the majority in our legislature for the past 50 years (if ever) and the last Democrat to sit in the Governor's office was in the 70s. Any tax increases or spending being done in South Dakota has the stamp of approval from the Republicans, so let's not muddy the issue.

    Sam: "It is time for schools to cut administration positions and out that money towards teachers."

    This has been discussed before and when South Dakota is compared to our peer states, it has been shown our administrative costs are either on par with or even lower than surrounding states. Thus it isn't a valid argument to suggest we are grossly overpaying administration, and even if you were to cut administration salaries by 25% it wouldn't be nearly enough to bring teacher salaries in line with where they should be.

    We are back to that false dillema argument. Administrator salaries, Fine Arts Centers, new football stadiums etc. might all cost money, but they don't have a direct impact upon teacher salaries to the point where we could divert enough funds to pay our teachers a wage commensurate with what our neighboring states do.

    The reality is people who claim they support education just need to buck up and prove it. Sure there is some funding that could be shifted around within each district, but at the end of the day we will still need additional funding to pay teachers more.

    This means we need to adjust the funding formula or look at other creative ways to generate revenue. It does not necessarily mean total spending has to go up, merely that we need to shift money around. I'm sure if we looked at the state budget close enough we could find a way to increase education spending but it will require those who profess their love of education to actually do something about it instead of kicking the can down the road while we education and train teachers who relocate to North Dakota, Wyoming, and Iowa.

  64. Steve Sibson 2014.09.10

    "Liberals haven't had the majority in our legislature for the past 50 years"

    Liberal Republicans are running the show in Pierre.

  65. Steve Sibson 2014.09.10

    "but they don't have a direct impact upon teacher salaries"

    Yes they do, the economic term is "opportunity costs".

  66. Bill Fleming 2014.09.10

    Craig, I tend to agree with you that we need to raise more money to pay teachers, but as per some of the other posts on this thread, the problem is on the local level. We as citizens need to get it that teachers deserve to be better paid than they are currently and demand that our schools do it. I'm not sure that understanding is in place.

  67. Steve Sibson 2014.09.10

    The above link shows Governor Rounds taking over a $2.5 billion state government.

    That link shows Governor Daugaard proposing over $4.2 billion, which is nearly a 70% increase over the last two tax/borrow and spend liberal Republican governors and the liberal legislature they control. And we need more revenue to pay teachers?

    Anybody want to research how much per student spending has increased since 1970? The facts will show that the problem is not enough money, the problem is whose pockets the money ends up in.

  68. Steve Sibson 2014.09.10

    "When I attended public schools"

    And when was that?

  69. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.09.10

    I notice that this tax proposal fits with a thesis commenters Wayne Pauli and Donald Pay advanced in another thread, that South Dakota has a long-standing cultural aversion to investing its own money in anything of value. This sales tax proposal indicates this aversion as much as any alternative tax proposal offered above, in that it is a seasonal tax designed to take advantage of out-state tourists.

  70. mike from iowa 2014.09.10

    tax and spend,liberal wingnuts? More like spend and cut taxes,neo-Sibbys ruining things.

  71. Bill Fleming 2014.09.10

    Yeah, that's the secret sauce in SD's sales tax, Cory. A big chunk of it is paid by out-of-staters. Good old Mount Rushmore. The Federal gift that keeps on giving ;-)

  72. mike from iowa 2014.09.10

    Sibson obviously got off at the wrong exit again.

    Another day spent in squallor
    Listening to Sibson holler

  73. barry freed 2014.09.10

    So many posts, but not one of us knows exactly where our School District's dollars are spent. A thing can't be fixed until it is known what is broken.
    We have an idea of how much teachers make because the Papers publish those numbers, but how much is spent on sports? How much did our insurance go up with the NFL lawsuits over concussion injuries? Until we know EXACTLY where EVERY dollar goes, in every Department, we can solve no problems.
    Property tax is evil and crooked. It is a tax on income that may never be realized based on the subjective opinion of people who are corruptible. You will not find anyone who supports bringing back the Personal Property Tax, having a distaste in it for the same reasons.
    Income Tax is the only fair way to tax, when you make it, you pay it. To cheat, you must also cheat the Feds, and who among us are willing to risk that?
    Eliminate and replace the Property Tax with an Income tax and once you finish paying the mortgage, your house is yours until death, not to be lost over retirement or financial disaster.

  74. Bill Fleming 2014.09.10

    Mike, don't look now, but you just wrote a heroic couplet in iambic pentameter. How Shakespearian! And funny to boot, methinks.

  75. mike from iowa 2014.09.10

    Cheat the feds-according to Larry Flynt,he has uncovered evidence that purports to show Willard Romney is a billionaire with many secret bank accounts.

    Shakespearian,Bill?I always attributed that style to Rocky and Bullwinkle.

  76. Steve Sibson 2014.09.10

    "More like spend and cut taxes,neo-Sibbys ruining things."

    Please detail those tax cuts. So far I have only seen tax increases on properties. I have seen tax increase to license our cars. I have seen increases on deer tags, now the governor is proposes increase on duck stamps. Vehle wants another license plate increase. How do you increase government spending without increasing taxes? Debt? That is coveting from future taxpayers, which will result in decreased economic activity in the future. And then we have this proposal to tax out of state tourists to pay our teachers. That is so greedy.

  77. Craig 2014.09.10

    Steve: "Craig, I am ending the conversation because you continue to take this off topic in pursuit of a personal agenda."

    Yet you now decide to post two separate comments quoting my prior statements and responding.

    Just more evidence that Steve is dishonest. Just like when he said "So Craig and Bill say Fine Arts buildings are more important than paying teachers" which had no basis in any of my prior statements.

    So Steve are you prepared to issue retractions for your lies and distortions?

    By the way Steve, I'm well aware of opportunity costs (that is day one Econ), but it is not a zero sum game. If you are going to quote my statements, ensure you quote the entire statement. If you had, you could have noticed where I continued and said "...but they don't have a direct impact upon teacher salaries to the point where we could divert enough funds to pay our teachers a wage commensurate with what our neighboring states do".

    Thus you can slash administration costs, but even if you cut them 50% (which is entirely unrealistic) you cannot pay teachers a wage on par with neighboring states. You can cut football stadiums only to later learn that the revenue generated from such programs actually helps pay for other athletic programs and - thus you end up spending MORE to do less.

    Then you have your issue with the Fine Arts Center, which is a project in one city and has zero effect on the rest of the state - which is why I said none of those things will have enough of an impact to raise teacher salaries to where they should be.

    Reading comprehension and an aptitude for logic: two things that make someone a better contributor to discussions, as well as better candidates for school boards.

  78. Bill Fleming 2014.09.10

    We'll, ok. Bullwinkian then. Either way it was moosic to my inner ear, mike. Thanks for the chuckle.

  79. Lynn 2014.09.10

    The citizens of SibCity are rioting. Someone please intervene to bring peace and make them a happy and productive city.

  80. mike from iowa 2014.09.10

    Correction-this is not a line item breakdown. My bad.

  81. Steve Sibson 2014.09.10

    I am still waiting for those tax cuts that allowed South Dakota's state government to grow by 70% since 2003. Appears nobody will be able to explain an oxymoronic position, so the only option is personal attacks.

  82. mike from iowa 2014.09.10

    Sibby,this could be the most productive 24 hours of your life. Check back this time tomorrow and see if I can find an answer for you.

  83. Roger Cornelius 2014.09.10

    Sibson says, "Liberal Republicans have been running the show in Pierre". Sibson, do you ever listen to yourself or talk in an echo chamber.
    Name one by one, the Liberal Republicans in Pierre that have seized the power and control of the SDGOP. I'll be waiting. Interesting how Sibson has to blame Liberals for something, so he calls them Liberal Republicans.
    It is now time to make my weekly reminder to Republicans that the SDGOP is responsible for every tax and fee increase in past 40 years, some Democrats may have supported those increases but were not the dominate party to push them through the legislature.
    The faux argument that Liberals are all for big government and policies of tax and spend is discredited by the actions of a Republican controlled legislature and a Republican governor that supports big government and tax and spend.

  84. Steve Sibson 2014.09.10

    Roger, how many SDGOP legislators and SDGOP governors supported spending Obama's stimulus money, that was borrowed from future generations, by putting it into the budget? How many SDGOP members supported Common Core? How many SDGOP members believe that the role of government is to create jobs?

  85. Roger Cornelius 2014.09.10

    Steve, Daugaard supports Common Core even though the likes of Lora Hubble think it is an Obama conspiracy. As I recall, Common Core is a brain child of and supported by the National Governors Association.
    The SDGOP and former Governor Mike Rounds did not support the President Obama stimulus, but he was sure happy to use it when he devastated the South Dakota budget. It is just like Rounds did with Obamacare, he claims he wants to repeal it in public, but privately he has and is making money from it.
    If you read Daugaard's Workforce Summit that Cory posted here, you'll see that the Republican Party has a vested interested in government job creation. In case you missed it, Rounds and supporters also believe in government job creation best stated in the failed beef plant and EB-5, after all the deception of EB-5 promoted by Rounds and his taking credit for, was about job creation.
    Now Steve, listen carefully, what do President Obama and the National Governors Association have to do with "Liberal Republicans running Pierre"
    Your attempted distraction from your comment isn't going to work, name the "Liberal Republicans running Pierre".

  86. Steve Sibson 2014.09.10

    Roger, I told Dusty Johnson, while defending my comment that he was a faux conservative, that Daugaard needs to stay away from the NGA if he wanted any chance of being a conservative. Thanks for bringing up the liberal Workforce Summit, which was put together by those whose agenda is a global education system.

  87. Craig 2014.09.10

    Steve: "...the only option is personal attacks"

    Calling you out for your blatent lies isn't a personal attack Steve - it is pointing out a fact.

    By the way Steve... guess how many Republican Presidents have reduced the deficit in the past 50 years?

    The answer (if you really care) is 0, but by all means keep relying upon the "tax and spend liberal" talking point. From what I gather, anyone who doesn't see eye to eye with you economically is as liberal, anyone who doesn't see eye to eye with you theologically isn't a true Christian, anyone who points out flaws in your logic and/or blatant dishonesty is guilty of personal attacks, and anyone who doesn't support your ideas for education is simply supporting crony capitalism.

    It must get tiring having to continually define all of these terms to suit your own purposes.

  88. O 2014.09.10

    I hope that the one cent sales tax (even though collected only in the summer, will hit residents of SD as well as "tourists") will be less of an economic strain if coupled with a new increase in the minimum wage here with the passing of IM18.

    There has been a bit of discussion here about the "how?" of collecting the revenue for increasing teacher salaries (and to be up-front, I, as a SD teacher, support increasing teacher salaries). Is there an issue in SD that is of large enough importance that the legislature would ever consider a full look at how revenue is generated for SD public operations? Are we forever relegated to current tax/fee mechanisms that seem more regressive as they increase? Or is this the straw-man/red herring tactic: focus on the collection of revenue to the point where nobody talks about the demonstrated need for funding education, teachers (and other public services) in our state?

  89. Roger Cornelius 2014.09.10

    In case you haven't been notified, Dennis Daugaard is a Republican governor, the Daugaard Workforce Summit was sponsored by Republican Daugaard.

    If the Workforce Summit was a liberal effort, it would have included the unemployment rate on our Indian reservation.

    Your attempts to label Republican failures in this state as liberal is foolish, everyone that reads this blog knows that. It ain't going to fly Steve.

    How's that list of "Liberal Republicans have been running the show in Pierre" coming along?

    Steve, can you explain the difference between a Liberal Republican and a Liberal Democrat?

  90. Lynn 2014.09.10

    Roger I believe it is Liberal Republicans are Neo-Facists and Liberal Democrats are Neo-Marxists right Steve?

  91. Roger Cornelius 2014.09.10

    You're probably right Lynn. Sibson will find it necessary to apply some Christian label to Liberal Democrats and Liberal Republicans
    Don't forget the apostate thing, he'll get that in there somehow.

  92. Steve Sibson 2014.09.10

    Roger, conservatives DO NOT believe the government should be creating jobs. That is from the Keynesian school of thought, which is very much liberal.

    Yes Lynn, under Keynesian economics, the Republicans provide the supply and the Democrats provide the demand side, of the government intervention.

  93. Craig 2014.09.10

    Funny, because all I hear from conservatives in D.C. is how we need to cut the corporate income tax rate and avoid any discussion to raise taxes on the upper income earners because they are the "job creators". John Thune has been preaching that for the past five years.

    So if they aren't actually concerned with the government influencing job creation, what exactly is their true motivation? You can't really argue that they prefer the private sector to handle all of the job creation when they are condoning a tax policy that they believe has a direct influence upon said job creation.

    I'm guessing this is another case where Steve gets to make up his own definition of who is and who is not a 'true conservative'. Nobody in Washington is as conservative as Steve, just as nobody in Vatican City is as Christian.

  94. Roger Cornelius 2014.09.10

    Republicans Mike Rounds and Dennis Daugaard have and are government job creators. EB-5 was supposed to be a job creator until Rounds turned it into a personal ATM for his cronies.
    Daugaard has been promoting his Workforce Summit and has tried to attract out of state workers and more, don't tell me conservatives like Rounds and Daugaard don't believe in government job creation. They do

  95. bearcreekbat 2014.09.10

    Here I am again, very late to the discussion. That said, I simply do not understand the lack of an income tax in SD. Sure, there should be a limit whereby those with incomes below a particular level should be exempt. We can argue about that level, but I see no reasonable arguments about taxing incomes above whatever level we can agree upon.

    Really, people with substantial incomes can easily afford to pay taxes on such incomes. The fear that we will set the level too low defeats the whole point and only benefits those who could pay a reasonable tax on income they would otherwise save rather than spend.

    Increasing sales tax is purely regressive, unless the increase is aimed at unusual expenses, like buying a sports car, or a bigger boat, etc. We really don't need to increase taxes on everyday folks who are trying to make ends meet or are trying to pay a mortgage, property taxes and insurance.

    But for those folks who can afford to pay a bit more in taxes because they have salaries or income that provide for substantially more than they will ever need, they should be the ones arguing for more taxation for teachers' salaries. If I have income that substantially exceeds what it takes to pay my monthly bills, then what basis do I have to argue that I should not pay increased taxes to provide the teachers in this state with a decent income?

    While I commend efforts to find money to increase teacher pay, it seems counterproductive, and perhaps even stupid and self-defeating to look to people who are already struggling to pay the cost. I would support a progressive income tax in this state so that those who have plenty will have to share the cost of education with those that are just getting by. After all, as another commentator wisely observed, when we were young someone paid the cost of our educations - it is time for the more well off to repay this debt.

  96. Roger Cornelius 2014.09.10

    if my memory serves, didn't we vote on an initiated measure a couple of years ago for education or teacher funding? I don't remember the particulars other than that it was defeated by the public.

  97. Steve Sibson 2014.09.11

    "conservatives like Rounds and Daugaard "

    They are not conservatives because they believe only government should create jobs.

    " I would support a progressive income tax in this state so that those who have plenty will have to share the cost of education with those that are just getting by."

    That Neo-Marxist principle violates equality as some pay higher rates than others. It also promotes coveting.

  98. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.09.11

    Progressive income tax discourages the covetousness of the rich, who covet the inordinate benefits they enjoy from free and universal public education without wishing to pay their fair share for those benefits.

    South Dakota covets the labor of teachers while refusing to pay them a moral wage.

    Sibby covets the attention of the blogosphere to his pet theories and shibboleths without doing the hard work of writing his own blog and demonstrating the practical policy relevance of his mutterings.

  99. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.09.11

    We did so vote, Roger: the 2012 measure would have split a year-round extra-penny sales tax between K-12 and health care funding. The thesis of ASBSD appears to be that voters would accept a smaller tax hike exclusively for education. But as with that initiative, a sticking point will be protecting those dedicated dollars from the predations of legislators eager to fund other priorities.

  100. Steve Sibson 2014.09.11

    "Sibby covets the attention of the blogosphere"

    Do you want an honest discussion on this web site or not Cory? No one wants to talk about how we as a nation can leave within our means (no deficits) and pay teachers more. Adding an income tax or sales tax may in fact reduce state revenues by reducing economic activity and risk a recession. Increasing government spending by paying teachers more, and then reduced revenues during a recession will create an even bigger budget problem. The only sound solution is to shift monies from areas that is not as important as teacher pay. That is what we should be talking about.

    "Progressive income tax discourages the covetousness of the rich, who covet the inordinate benefits they enjoy from free and universal public education without wishing to pay their fair share for those benefits."

    We have already experienced an income tax at the national level, and that has not stopped the rich from co-opting the public education system and turned it into free off-the-job training where "skills" needed for the corporatists' "human capital" trumps "educating". Instead of high paid "teachers", they only need do-as-we-say low paid "facilitators". I want to change that.

    I am here to help you folks understand what is really going on. Things that the SDGOP Neo-fascists don't want you, or anybody else (including conservatives), to understand. I do a lot of research. Last week you appreciated that. Today you don't.

  101. Craig 2014.09.11

    Steve: "The only sound solution is to shift monies from areas that is not as important as teacher pay. That is what we should be talking about."

    Ok I'll bite Steve. Do you have any specific suggestions that would be sufficient to pay our teachers at a level commensurate with our neighboring states?

    Be sure and show your math.

  102. bearcreekbat 2014.09.11

    Great link larry. I hope Sibby reads it.

  103. Steve Sibson 2014.09.11

    Larry & BCB, I read the link, and it is an important point. That is why a call the supply side of Keynesian economics Neo-Fascist and the demand side Neo-Marxist. What the link does not mention is true conservatives, during the 1930's, were against the government spending more than it collected in taxes. So if tax cuts caused deficit spending, as did Reagan, then that was considered commercialized Keynes, and a violation of Austrian economics.

    I am just about done reading this book:

    The book denies Keynes was a Fabian, even though he wrote in their publications.

    The Americans Fabians, for example Stuart Chase, use Keynesian policies to transform America into socialism. Alvin Hanson, who is from Viborg, South Dakota, wrote the first American textbook using Keynes while at Harvard. The people of the so-called "brain trust" behind FDR's New Deal. You should read Stuart Chase's "New Deal". Very much anti-free market and pro Soviet Union.

    The link Larry provided mentions Greg Mankiw and John Taylor as so-called conservative economists. Not sure if I will agree with that, so I need to research exactly what they promote.

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