School bond and tax elections in South Dakota

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School bond and tax elections in South Dakota happen under one circumstance:
  • To issue new bonds or taxes through capital outlay bonds.

Laws affecting school finance

South Dakota Capital Outlay law

Under South Dakota law, a ballot measures is required for any proposed installment purchase contract, lease-purchase, or the issue of capital outlay bond certificates if the outlay bond certificate exceeds one and one-half percent of the taxable valuation of taxable property within the district.[1] There is no mandated election for exceeding a general or special education levy.[2]

School districts under South Dakota law are allowed to use capital outlay bonds for acquiring or constructing real property, plant, or equipment.[3] Expenditures of capital outlays are allowed for land, existing facilities, improvement of grounds, construction of facilities, additions to facilities, remodeling of facilities, or for the purchase or lease of equipment.

Capital outlays may also be used for installment or lease-purchase payments for the purchase of real property, plant, or equipment, which do not have a terminating date of twenty years from the date of the installment contract/lease-purchase and for the payment of the principal of and interest on capital outlay certificates. School districts also have authority to use capital outlays for student transportation if a district contracts out student transportation. School districts cannot use more than fifteen percent of the contract amount for expenditures from capital outlay. School districts are also allowed to use capital outlay funds to purchase textbooks, instructional software, and warranties on capital assets if the warranties do not include supplies.[4]

The Capital Outlay Law was approved by the South Dakota Legislature in 1973.[5] [6]

Mandatory five year plan

Under South Dakota law, school districts must account on how they spend capital outlay dollars if it is approved by the voters. School districts in South Dakota must have a five-year plan when capital outlays are used to construct new facilities or additions to existing facilities. The five year plan must detail the annual projected revenues and the annual projected expenditures for the capital outlay funds approved by voters. Also, the five year plan must detail projected expenditures and must itemize the projected costs for new or additional facilities under the five year plan law.[7]. The five year plan was approved by the South Dakota Legislature in 1977[8]

Conduct of the bond election, limitations, rules

Authority conducting elections

The respective county election commission where a school district is held is responsible for conducting the elections.[9]

Election dates

School bond elections can be held during a general or a special election. The general election is the first Tuesday in November every even numbered year.[10]

Needed majority

Under South Dakota law, a super majority vote of three-fifths (60 percent plus one) is required to approve a capital outlay ballot measure.[11]

Special elections

In South Dakota, school districts are allowed to have special elections at any time as long the normal petition requirements are fulfilled.[12] The school district is required to pay for all costs of special elections.[13]

Wording of measures

South Dakota does not mandate an exact format for ballot questions relating to school bonds. However, under South Dakota law, each ballot question must be written in a clear and coherent manner in the style and form. Each ballot question must be worded clearly so that the effect of the measure is not misleading or likely to cause confusion among voters.[14]

Required notice of bond election

A minimum of twenty days must elapse after a petition to the school board signed by five percent of registered voters in the school district is approved to put the initiative on the ballot for the next general or special election.[15]

See also

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External links

References

  1. "South Dakota Legislature" South Dakota School Bond Law(Referenced Statute 13-16-6.3 South Dakota Codified Statutes)
  2. "South Dakota Legislature" South Dakota School Bond Law(Referenced Statute 13-16-6.4 South Dakota Codified Statutes)
  3. "South Dakota Legislature" South Dakota School Bond Law(Referenced Statute 13-16-6.2. South Dakota Codified Statutes)
  4. "South Dakota Legislature" South Dakota School Bond Law(Referenced Statute 13-16-6 South Dakota Codified Statutes)
  5. "South Dakota Legislature" South Dakota School Bond Law(Referenced Statute 13-16-6.3 South Dakota Codified Statutes, See History)
  6. "South Dakota Legislature" South Dakota School Bond Law(Referenced Statute 13-16-6.4 South Dakota Codified Statutes See History)
  7. "South Dakota Legislature" South Dakota Capital Outlay Law(Referenced Statute 13-16-9.2. South Dakota Codified Statutes)
  8. "South Dakota Legislature" South Dakota Capital Outlay Law(Referenced Statute 13-16-9.2. South Dakota Codified Statutes See History)
  9. "South Dakota Legislature" South Dakota Election Law(Referenced Statute 12-1-11 South Dakota Codified Statutes)
  10. "South Dakota Legislature" South Dakota Election Law(Referenced Statute 12-2-2 South Dakota Codified Statutes)
  11. "South Dakota Election Law" South Dakota School Finance Law(Referenced Statute 13-16-6.4 South Dakota Codified Statutes)
  12. "South Dakota Legislature" South Dakota School Bond Law(Referenced Statute 13-16-6.4 South Dakota Codified Statutes)
  13. "South Dakota Legislature" South Dakota Election Law(Referenced Statute 12-1-11 South Dakota Codified Statutes)
  14. "South Dakota Legislature" South Dakota Election Law(Referenced Statute 12.13.24 South Dakota Codified Statutes)
  15. "South Dakota Legislature" South Dakota School Bond law(Referenced Statute 13-16-6.4 South Dakota Codified Statutes)