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Minnehaha County Budget Reflects Increase in Criminal Activity

FILE: Sioux Falls Police Department Car
Tea Storm Chasers/KSOO-AM

Nine of the 11 new employees in the Minnehaha County provisional budget for 2014 will deal with criminal behavior of our citizens.

Five corrections officers, one deputy sheriff sergeant, one deputy states attorney, one deputy public defender and a coordinator for the Juvenile Detention Alternative Initiative have received approval for next year.

Jeff Barth, one of the Commissioners, has taken to speaking publicly and often about the unfairness of the tax system on alcohol which gives money to the cities and the state and nothing to the counties, whose primary responsibility is to deal with prosecuting, defending, and housing people who break the law. Many of those crimes have alcohol as a factor in the crime, yet no money is made available to the county to deal with the problem. So county property tax payers front the entire cost.

The two other approved positions are for human services casework and an engineer in the highway department.

In the budget is an increase of 2.1% in property taxes, and estimates of other revenue increases based on completed construction, more bank franchise, recording, board of prisoners and an increase in vehicle registration fees.

Commissioners have also approved a one percent increase in salary for all employees. Planned step increases of 2.5% were also included as part of the county’s pay plan.

A public hearing will be held Tuesday Sept. 3rd at 9:15 a.m. in the Minnehaha County Commission Room on North Dakota Avenue. Final budget approval must take place by September 24th, 2013.

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