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Sioux Falls School Board opt-out of property tax freeze

todayMay 28, 2024 3

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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — The Sioux Falls School board is once again opting out of the state’s property tax freeze.

That was the decision made Tuesday night at the school board meeting.

They’ve done it for years, but this time to a tune of $2 million.

The Sioux Falls School District says the $2 million opt-out is necessary to help the district to continue to operate as is.

It’s something it routinely does year after year.

“We’ve been opting out since 2002 or 2003 and it’s gotten to the point where where it’s eleven and a half million dollars total, but if you lose all that opt out you’re going to have to cut your budget five percent,” Business Manager Todd Vik said.

Business manager Todd Vik says if the board wouldn’t have passed the opt-out it would have been devastating; mostly for the students.

“You’re going to have large class sizes, you’re not going to have programs to help get math programs, reading programs to help kids catch up, you’re not going to be able to fund some of the programs for the kids who do really well, you’re not going to be able to do AP programs, you know things like that that cost a little extra money, so yeah eventually it’s going to affect the students and it’s going to affect them in the classroom,” Vik said.

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Opt-outs allow school districts to get more money in their budgets rather than relying on just the existing tax levy and in-state aid by collecting taxes from property owners in the district.

“This isn’t a tax increase other than it’s just trying to replace an opt out that’s scheduled to go away in three years,” Vik said.

The opt-out was approved at the school board meeting.

But people could refer it to a public vote if they get enough petition signatures.

By law, they’d have to have those signatures turned into school board by June 18th.

Written by: Badlands Classic Rock

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