Kent Alberty is one of my people. But even I have to cock an eyebrow at his characterization of the Sioux Falls School District's successful invasion and annexation of a new housing development near 12th Street and Ellis Road.
The new Cherry Lake Reserve Subdivision is in the West Central School District, but most of the homebuyers want to send their kids to Sioux Falls. Rather than just letting the kids open-enroll, Sioux Falls got West Central to agree to give up the land under a twenty-year sliding tax-share agreement. West Central gets tax money from the land for now, but by 2035, all the property taxes from the land go to Sioux Falls.
Steve Dick, West Central School Board president, said he voted for the original agreement even though it could mean taking a financial hit in the long run.
Dick guesses his district eventually might lose more than $100 million in taxable residential property because of the boundary change.
“In a perfect world, we would keep the property,” Dick said. “It’s a lot of valuation that you would hate to see go away.”
The tax-sharing plan offers a balance, appeasing families without completely cutting West Central off from the financial benefits of a growing part of the city, Alberty said.
“It’s a win-win for both school districts,” Alberty said [Patrick Anderson, "S.F. District Might Absorb West-Side Area," that Sioux Falls paper, 2014.11.11].
Kent, my friend, win-win overstates the situation. Sioux Falls wins. West Central doesn't lose as much as quickly as it could have. Sioux Falls is gentler than Russia in the Crimea and Donetsk, but the Ukranians in West Central are still losing.