COULD WE SEE COUNTIES, MUNICIPALITIES, CITIES, TOWNSHIPS JOIN FORCES TO RAISE TAXES FOR JAILS?
According Senate Bill 74 - the Legislature is pondering adopting legislation that may allow for Counties, Municipalities, Cities, and Townships, let alone any such Local Subdivision to create a Regional Jail Authority, acting as a sovereign entity for the purpose to pool assets, monies, and to tax property owner within the region to raise money to build and manage Jail's.
If approved, the County of Minnehaha, Lincoln McCook, and Parker, in conjunction with Municipalities such as Sioux Falls, Salem, Hartford, Canton, Parker, along with any such Township or other Community within the area can become members.
The new law would allow for the member-partners to assess up to $2.00 dollars per every $2,000 dollars in property value to help raise money to fund new jails, and to fund the maintenance of the jail, and to sustain the operational costs of said jail.
The "Regional Jail Authority" would be run by a governing board of which each member-partner would appoint, or elect board members, of which would act as the governing board, all of whom get to adopt rules, codes, and policies of how to operate the regional jail authority, let alone by "Resolution" as adopted by the people of the individual sub-division - would have to first agree to become member partners within the regional jail authority.
The Regional Jail Authority would have the power as a "Local Subdivision" to raise, collect, and receive means of revenues by way of Bonds, Federal and State Grants and other Monetary Funds, let alone accepting other donations from persons or groups of people within the political subdivision itself.
The Regional Jail Authority would have all the sovereign power under the State to sue, and to be sued in order to settle any such conflicts, disputes, and controversies stemming from policies, or decisions of the governing board itself.
Most of the Funds would be contributed by the member-partners of the Regional Jail Authority, so it could be feasible, that for example, the City of Sioux Falls by means of the City Council and Mayor could budget for, plan for, to set aside a portion of their total revenues raised from local taxes and fees, to generate its agreed portion of contributions to the Authority.
The Regional Jail Authority cannot be forced upon the people, the governing boards of each local subdivision from within each county, would have to adopt by resolutions, let alone hold public hearings, allowing the residents of each local subdivision to speak up, and to voice their opinion, let alone the people always reserve to themselves - the power of referendum.
So, just with any other resolution or initiative under the State itself - the people have the power of the Judicial Review Process.
Local Subdivisions under each county include, Municipalities, Cities, Organized Townships, Water or Sewer Districts, Homesteads, Farmsteads, School Districts, any localized, sovereign group of people of whom formed or created a subdivision.
If approved, we could see communities within the counties coming together to expand, or redevelop, or create expanded Jails, Detention Centers, let alone any other means of holding or detaining residents who have violated local ordinances, or have been convicted of criminal activity.
Senate Bill 74 was discussed this past week, and introduced by Senator Jim Stalzer, so it appears that this proposed initiative has derived from the Counties of Minnehaha and Lincoln where it has become policy to expand their community jails.
As we debate the public matter of decreasing our tax rates, whether property taxes or sales taxes, is it a good idea to add a new tax to be assessed on homeowners, businesses, and farmers to expand or create a larger jail to house more people?
What is the agenda behind this effort, to build larger jail houses...