Voters to decide on Initiated Measure 25
RAPID CITY, S.D. – On Nov. 6, the public will vote on a variety of issues, including a number of initiated ballot measures.
Backers of Initiated Measure 25 say the measure is intended to raise money to help tech school students pay for classes. Jason Glodt, a member of South Dakotans Against Higher Taxes, said the measure as written creates a new state tax and doesn’t have protections to keep the money from being spent elsewhere or from going into the state’s general fund.
“The money would go into a fund controlled by the tech school governance board, so you’d have nine unelected officials who would get tens of millions a year if it’s not diverted,” said Glodt. “And there’s no transparency or accountability on how that money would be spent.”
Opponents of IM 25 also contend that more needs to be done for all education, not just to help the state’s roughly 7,000 tech students.
“There’s zero money for pre-school, or pre-k programs,” said Glodt. “There’s no money for K-12, and there’s no money for universities. The over 170,000 students are shut out from any benefit from this.”
And at a time where party polarization dominates the national headlines, both the state’s Democratic Party and the Republican Party have passed resolutions opposing it. Gubernatorial candidates Kristi Noem and Billie Sutton are both opposed to the measure as well.
Opponents also say that if IM 25 is approved, the taxes that South Dakotans will pay on affected purchases will be between 400 and 600 percent higher than in the neighboring states of Nebraska, Wyoming and North Dakota.