- Associated Press - Wednesday, June 28, 2017

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) - Sioux Falls Mayor Mike Huether has laid out the most grim budget outlook of his tenure, just a year after proposing the city’s most ambitious capital plan ever.

The mayor cited slow sales tax growth in South Dakota’s largest city, the Argus Leader (https://argusne.ws/2tkodaY ) reported.

Huether called for budgeting more than $548 million in construction and equipment purchases through 2022, a large reduction from his $589 million proposal last year.

Sales tax revenues have slowed to their lowest point since the recession of 2009 and 2010, after years of growth that was as high as 8 percent just three years ago. The mayor’s finance team projects just 1 percent growth in sales tax revenues next year.

“The slow sales tax growth is real,” Huether said. “One of the things we knew we had to do was to make some really, really tough choices, and you’re gonna see that with this budget.”

He said the bulk of the money will go toward roads and utilities rather than outdoor swimming pools, event centers and bike trails.

Huether said City Hall was spending about 60 percent of its revenues on roads and utilities during his first seven years in office.

The capital improvement plan calls for about 100 fewer blocks of road resurfacing over the next five years. But it also increases the percentage of city dollars being spent on roads and utilities to 90 percent.

That means about $241.7 million will go toward highways and streets, and another $189 million will go to utilities, under Huether’s proposal.

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Information from: Argus Leader, https://www.argusleader.com

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