Governor Rounds has been pulling a shell game on our state finances, and in the current financial climate, with our state governments bloated investments in Wall Street it's all coming home to roost.
[State Sen. Scott] Heidepriem, D-Sioux Falls, and Rep. Bernie Hunhoff, D-Yankton, pointed to a recent news analysis of how Rounds has depleted the personal property tax relief fund to balance budgets and to charts showing rapid growth in state employee positions since Rounds took office. Heidepriem said that in 2002, Rounds promised he would reduce property taxes and reduce the dependence of public school funding on property taxes. Instead, Rounds is now seeking a $6.3 million increase in property taxes while pulling another $25.7 million from the PTRF to pay for his budget proposal. Rounds also proposed 77 new fulltime state employee positions in the new budget. Heidepriem and Hunhoff said Democrats will again offer a limit on state spending.
I think we in Rapid City should all call Brian and Brian and Stan and tell them that it's time for some reality-based budgeting instead of the Roundsian myths we've been fed for too many years. And the results of the shell game puts an unfair burden on West River's door, as Pierre and East River get the bulk of the economic spinoff effects of a bloated state government and inefficient state purchasing.