Rapid City Area Schools “setting the record straight” on General Beadle Elementary School back taxes
RAPID CITY, S.D. — Rapid City Area Schools held a press conference Tuesday afternoon to share an update on the tax certificate bought by South Dakota Citizens for Liberty.
RCAS found out from the Pennington County Treasurer’s Office, Tuesday, that notice of delinquent tax payments were being sent to 925 Maple Avenue in Rapid City. The address was addressed to Independent District of Rapid City — not Rapid City Area Schools District.
“A quick Google search will show you that there is dozens of different entities in this community with those exact same words,” says Katy Urban, Communications Coordinator for RCAS. “Nobody that works for our district worked for it when it was Independent School District of Rapid City, so that was something we didn’t recognize.”
The delinquency tax? That was for a storm sewer water assessment put into place in 2014. With interest of 10% annually, the cost of the tax totaled roughly $8,500 to date.
Pennington County bought the tax certificate, or tax lien, after it was offered to competitive bidders at auction in 2016- with no bidders. But in November of 2019 Treasurer Janet Sayler assigned the certificate to South Dakota Citizens for Liberty when they said they would pay the costs.
“After three years of delinquency then their tax lien, their tax or their certificate was for sale,” said Tonchi Weaver, spokesperson for SDCL. “We paid that, we satisfied that debt because we were afraid that something unscrupulous may happen to that building. This is a valuable public asset.”
That doesn’t mean that the school building would’ve been put in the hands of SDCL though.
“Anytime your taxes go delinquent there’s a sale on the third Monday of December, every year,” says Sayler. “People come in and bid on the certificates. They are only buying the certificates — paying the taxes. They are not buying the property.”
SDLC bought the certificate a few months prior to the press conference held Tuesday where then RCAS stated they had paid off the fees and internal control will ensure fees are paid annually from now, regardless of notice.
“I think our track record speaks for itself.” says Urban. “We have a great credit rating, one of the best in the state as far as school districts go. So I think we have proven ourselves, that we do manage our money well.”