The Town of Sioux Falls
The Community of Sioux Falls is Formed in Minnehaha County.
Beginning in the year 1877, the "landowners" and "property holders" of whom resided within the County of Minnehaha, began the process to organize themselves into a Surveyed Township - a geographic reference used to define property location for deeds and grants.
The origins of the Town of Sioux Falls were first founded when a Group of People, known as the Western Town Company purchased a "charter" from the State of Iowa, utilizing the 1841 Preemption Act, a settlement act of which allowed early Americans to lay claim to, purchase and obtain a land patent to 160 or 320 acres of land - of which this specific Group of People did so, with the intent to establish the Village of Sioux Falls to be located south of 3rd Street, but north of 7th Street along the banks of the Big Sioux River, while shortly later, they were conjoined by a second Group of People, known as the Dakota Land Company who arrived in 1862 establishing a Surveyed Township themselves, chartered by the State of Minnesota, establishing Sioux Falls City, which operated south of 7th Street, but north of 10th Street. These two groups of people were land surveyors, businessmen, politicians, pomeranian farmers, and investors, with the goal to populate, coexist within a region commonly known as the Great Bend of the Big Sioux River - a reference point of where the river itself, makes a huge, sweeping "s" curve as it carves its path from the northern regions to the Missouri River. These two communities would lie within the river valley, beneath the two bluffs overlooking the river itself, as well as a series of waterfalls nearby.
By 1879, the Township of Sioux Falls was established in Dakota Territory. This means, the Town of Sioux Falls was first established prior to the State of South Dakota being organized, formed, allowing early residents to plat, and zone, and develop their area as per the 1777 Northwest Territory Ordinance.
Between 1879 and 1888, the Town of Sioux Falls was in its infancy, putting in place, the early framework, of which would shape the town in being what it has become today, as a prosperous city, led by wealthy, progressive, businessmen and women fully capable of living, and prospering from the land itself. The Town of Sioux Falls resides within the County of Minnehaha, giving to the board of county commissioners power to divide the county into as many townships as the conveniences of the citizens may require, and they have the duty to accurately define the boundaries, of which from time to time they can make such alterations in the number, names, and boundaries as they deem proper, by advice of the people as provided by common laws adopted at-large.
On November 2, 1889, the State of South Dakota became the 40th State of the Union, and per the 1890 census, it defined, and created its natural borders, as the people adopted their constitution, and adopted a set of statutes, of which to govern over the counties, and all townships, both existing, and new ones. what was once formed as a surveyed township, now becomes an organized civil township under the State of South Dakota, its constitution, its laws.
The civil townships heretofore established shall remain as they are, subject to alteration or division as provided in this chapter - S.D.C.L 8-1-1, while further explained by S.D.C.L 8-1-6, the township when organized, shall be named in accordance with the expressed wish of a majority of the voters thereof. But if they fail to designate a name, the board of county commissioners may select the name.
The main reason, and purpose people choose to organize, and establish their township, is to give to them political means of working together, to publically, manage the common needs of the area itself. Things such as Public Roads, Utilities, Infrastructure, Public Places, Waste, their Collective Services. They can nominate, and elect a Mayor and Town Council, a Treasurer, Secretary, and Other Officials, and Officers, as they so desire, to govern over and manage the area. Each civil township under the State, now becomes a body corporate, and gives them the power to do the following:
- To sue and be sued;
- To acquire, by purchase, condemnation, or other lawful means, real property within or without the limits of the township, necessary or convenient for township purposes, or for the exercise of the powers granted to the township;
- To make such contracts and purchase and hold such personal property as may be necessary for the exercise of its corporate or administrative powers or for the protection of the property of its inhabitants, including the purchase of or contracting for fire-fighting equipment or protection;
- To pass bylaws or ordinances for the government of such township and for the protection of the lives and property of its inhabitants, and to enforce the same in its corporate name before any magistrate;
- To make such orders for the disposition, regulation, or use of its corporate property as may be deemed by the board of supervisors conducive to the best interests of the inhabitants.
- All "residents" of an organized Township, have the right to become qualified voters of the town, of whom have the right to become Elected, or Appointed Officials, Officers, and Agents of the town, to which they shall serve in elected and appointed roles, of governing over the town itself.
- Today, the Town of Sioux Falls of which was first organized, and formed in 1879, has today become a Municipality, a Home Ruled Chartered City in South Dakota, collectively conjoining the Town of Sioux Falls, East Sioux Falls, West Sioux Falls, South Sioux Falls, as well as parts of Split Rock Township, Wayne Township, Delapre Township, and Mapleton Township, and several other land claims of which have been annexed into its incorporated boundaries.
One of the many functions 'we' have as a sovereign, political body of people, is the right to tax ourselves, under the laws of the State, of which the City itself has several types of taxes of which fund much of the public properties, roads, programs, and services today.
- Sales Tax - the residents themselves agree to pay a 1% General Tax to fund General Government duties, while they also pay another 1% directed to fund Capital Projects such as new roads, infrastructure, water works projects, for a total of 2% collected on all financial transactions paid by the the residents, collectively, paying $160,000,000 million a year into the local treasury;
- Property Tax - the residents of the city today pay a direct tax, owed to the county, on the assessed value of their land which includes all real property and other amenities held on top of the land, of which a small portion this tax comes back to the city for land, community, and economic development needs, of nets the residents of the community, collectively $73,000,000 million as of the year 2023;
- Landfill Disposal Fees - the residents of the community pay to themselves roughly $12,076,000 a year to manage our own community waste;
- Electricity, Power Distribution Fees - the residents of the city who utilize the Public Utilities, collectively pay $9,890,000 a year to provide this service;
- Public Parking Fees - the residents pay annually, a collective amount of $2,700,000 to help fund public parking infrastructure, and parking lots;
- Water and Water Reclamation Fees - the residents pay annually a collective tax worth $76,800,000 million a year to provide water and sewer services;
- Vehicle Registration Taxes, Title Fees, Plate Fees - the residents of the community pay to the town collectively $3,700,000 for public roads, bridges;
- Tax Increment Financing - the landowners, property holders agree to privately finance community development, which pays $2,154,286 per year towards community infrastructure improvements (sidewalks, parking ramps, water, sewer, utilities, land improvements, building improvements;
- Lodging, Hotel Tax - nonresidents contribute $1,100,000 a year as they come in and utilize the services of Hotels, Motels, and Lodging;
- Hotel, Business Improvement District Fees - the Downtown Sioux Falls Property Holders agree to contribute $2,100,000 a year to the community;
- Frontage Tax, or Fee - property owners contribute another $16,300,000 a year directed to street and curb cleaning, community work to the city.
The landowners, property holders, the residents of the City of Sioux Falls all contribute a total of $360,000,000 a year in taxes and fees in order to fund the public roads, public parks, infrastructure, water and sewer services, the common electric grid, let alone all the public programs and services provided by our local government. That is a committed collective effort equal to $1,800 Per Resident, with the goal to pool our assets to fund the needs of the city itself.
A city the size of Sioux Falls, of which have a total $18,130,407,164 billion dollars worth of 'assessed property value' collectively, this gives to the residents of Sioux Falls the ability to borrow from the very landowners up to 10% of that value, or $1,813,040,716 maximum. The City of Sioux Falls has conservatively managed their total debt, pledging only 16.7% of the total maximum allowed, owing only $301,440,000 to date.
When it is all said and done, the City of Sioux Falls, dating back to its origins, in 1879 - has been well managed, conservatively managing its public taxes, despite the fact it is known to most as a liberally, progressive city, of which it actively engages in the community to help plan for, take care of, and provide for all the residents of the city, as we go about our day-to-day business of operating our township, which today, is a home ruled, community in South Dakota.
Today, we elect a Mayor to administer and operate all of the public activities of the city, as established by the vested landowners, of which we divide the residents in groups of 5 districts, with each group of people electing their own Representative, of who gives the residents a voice on a City Council of who then has investigative powers to oversee the City Departments, Offices, Agencies, and Corporate Partnerships of the Community itself.
The powers of the City of Sioux Falls are Vested within Four Branches of City Government, of which Each Play an Equal Role in Self Governance.
The People of Sioux Falls - consists of All Landowners, Property Holders, Business Owners, all Residents of the "City" of whom have the Ultimate Responsibility to Petition to Nominate Candidates for Mayor, City Councilors, Boards, Committee Persons, let alone Ordinances, and Initiatives to be adopted by the People themselves or their Governing Board (mayor and councilors) of the City, of which they Hold Public Elections Every Two Years.
City Hall - Holds the Mayor's Office, Administration of Appointed Directors, Committees, and Boards of which oversee, and administrate the Public Departments and Offices, Agencies, and Corporate Organizations
Carnegie Town Hall - Holds the City Council, Clerk, and their Appointed Committees, Boards, Staff Employees of which oversee, and investigate the Public Departments and Offices, Agencies, and Corporate Organizations
City Administration Building - Holds all of the City Officers, Managers, and Lower Level Employees of the City of whom carry out, and perform all of the duties tasked of the City Government as adopted by the People, thei City Council, and approved by, the Mayor.