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65-year-old from Irene killed in motorcycle vs semi accident last week in southeast South Dakota

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65-year-old from Irene killed in motorcycle vs semi accident last week in southeast South Dakota


MARCH 18, 2024:

A motorcyclist suffered fatal injuries in a two-vehicle crash near Volin on Tuesday (March 12, 2024, 5pm CT).

Preliminary crash information indicates 65-year-old Gordon J. Sorensen from Irene was the  male driver of a 2006 Harley Davidson motorcycle was traveling east on 301st Street near 446th Avenue behind a semi tractor/trailer. A septic tanker truck, driven by 54-year-old Donald E. Robinson of Yankton, was traveling the same direction and was in front of the semi. The septic tanker truck slowed down to turn north into a field. Sorensen attempted to pass the semi and struck the side of the septic tanker truck as it was turning into the field. Sorensen was thrown from his motorcycle and died at the scene as a result of his injuries. He was not wearing a helmet.

The South Dakota Highway Patrol is investigating the crash.

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The Highway Patrol is an agency of the South Dakota Department of Public Safety.

 

MARCH 14, 2024:

A motorcyclist suffered fatal injuries Tuesday (March 12, 2024, 5pm CT) in a two-vehicle crash northwest of Volin.

The names of the persons involved have not been released pending notification of family members.

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Preliminary crash information indicates a 65-year-old male driver of a 2006 Harley Davidson motorcycle was traveling east on 301st Street near 446th Avenue behind a semi tractor/trailer. A septic tanker truck was traveling the same direction and was in front of the semi. The septic tanker truck slowed down to turn north into a field. The motorcycle driver attempted to pass the semi and struck the side of the septic tanker truck as it was turning into the field. The motorcycle rider was thrown from his motorcycle. He died at the scene as a result of his injuries. He was not wearing a helmet.

The South Dakota Highway Patrol is investigating the crash.

The Highway Patrol is an agency of the South Dakota Department of Public Safety.



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South Dakota

Noem dodges CNN questions on abortion exceptions and election certification • South Dakota Searchlight

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Noem dodges CNN questions on abortion exceptions and election certification • South Dakota Searchlight


Gov. Kristi Noem appeared Sunday on CNN and declined to say whether she supports additional abortion-ban exceptions or whether she would have certified the results of the 2020 election.

The only exception in South Dakota’s abortion ban is for the “life of the pregnant female.” CNN “State of the Union” co-host Dana Bash asked if there should be exceptions for victims of rape and incest.

Noem did not give a definitive answer but said, “I just don’t believe a tragedy should perpetuate another tragedy,” and added that she will focus on “walking alongside” prospective mothers in crisis situations.

Noem doesn’t address exceptions but calls Trump’s abortion statement ‘exactly right’

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“I’ll continue to do that and love mothers and families through these situations,” she said.

Noem also said “every state’s going to look different,” echoing recent comments by former President Donald Trump, who is considering Noem as a running mate in the 2024 presidential race. Earlier this month, Trump declined to support a national abortion ban and said the issue should be left to the states.

Trump also said he supports exceptions to abortion bans in cases of rape, incest and to protect the life of the mother.

On CNN, Noem said South Dakota’s abortion ban “was passed decades before I ever became governor.” In fact, lawmakers passed South Dakota’s trigger ban in 2005, 13 years before Noem became governor and two years before her time as a legislator. The ban immediately took effect in 2022 when the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a prior precedent establishing a constitutional right to an abortion.

Regarding the 2020 election, Bash asked Noem if she would have certified the results as then-Vice President Mike Pence did on Jan. 6, 2021, when a mob of Trump supporters violently attempted to stop the certification.

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Noem gave a lengthy response but never answered the question.

“Talking in hypotheticals is not something that I do,” Noem said, in part. “I deal with the reality of what I’m dealing with today and every single day. And what I’m going to do from now until we get to November is continue to go across this country and talk to people about Donald Trump.”

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Public forum highlights potential property tax political storm • South Dakota Searchlight

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Public forum highlights potential property tax political storm • South Dakota Searchlight


RAPID CITY — Some frustrated taxpayers attended a public forum Saturday to tell state officials they’re taking the wrong approach to taxation.

Several of the roughly 100 attendees said legislators and Gov. Kristi Noem should raise the sales tax rate instead of reducing it, and use the money to replace some of the local government revenue currently supplied by property taxes.

“I don’t think there’s any other way around getting our property taxes taken care of unless we raise the sales tax,” said audience member Beth Paulson, of Custer. 

Rapid rise in South Dakota home prices is ‘not sustainable,’ economist says

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One of the panelists, Donald Olstad, a Hot Springs businessman and former school board member, estimated that a several-percentage-point increase in the sales tax rate could wholly replace property taxes.

“And that would be a great debate,” Olstad said.

But elected officials and some political activists are moving in the opposite direction. 

Gov. Kristi Noem started a push for lower sales taxes during her reelection campaign in 2022, when she promised to exempt groceries from the state sales tax.

Legislators rejected that proposal in 2023 and instead adopted their own proposal to reduce the state sales tax rate from 4.5% to 4.2%. The reduction is scheduled to expire in 2027, unless legislators make it permanent.

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Meanwhile, a Democratic-led citizen group is circulating petitions to put a measure on the Nov. 4 general election ballot that would remove state sales taxes from grocery purchases.

Sales, tourism taxes discussed

Some forum attendees suggested increasing the state tourism tax. That’s a 1.5% tax on hotels, campgrounds and some other tourism-related activities. 

Beyond the state sales tax and tourism tax, cities can impose up to an additional 2% sales tax, plus another 1% entertainment tax on items such as alcohol, restaurants, hotels and events. 

Sales tax revenue goes to cities and the state. Property taxes go primarily to counties and schools.

State Rep. Trish Ladner, R-Hot Springs, is trying to convince her fellow legislators to do something about rising property taxes. She introduced property tax relief bills each of the last two legislative sessions in Pierre, with limited success.

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She also organized the forum Saturday in a lecture hall on the South Dakota Mines university campus. When discussion turned to raising the sales tax rate in order to reduce or stabilize property taxes, Ladner said it’s an idea worth considering.

“The thing about sales tax, too, is that the tourists would help pay for it. I like that,” Ladner said. “I’m just saying we need to be open to alternative methods.”

Ladner and Olstad were panelists at the forum. Other panelists were Matt Krogman, a Brookings real estate agent and lobbyist for the South Dakota Association of Realtors; Rep. Mike Derby, R-Rapid City; Rep. Dennis Krull, R-Hill City; and Pennington County Commissioner Ron Rossknecht. The moderator was Garth Wadsworth, of the Elevate Rapid City economic development group.

Participating in a public forum on property taxes April 20, 2024, at South Dakota Mines in Rapid City were, from left, moderator Garth Wadsworth of Elevate Rapid City, Brookings real estate agent and lobbyist Matt Krogman, state Rep. Trish Ladner, R-Hot Springs, state Rep. Mike Derby, R-Rapid City, Hot Springs businessman Donald Olstad, state Rep. Dennis Krull, R-Hill City, and Pennington County Commissioner Ron Rossknecht. (Seth Tupper/South Dakota Searchlight)

Homeowner taxes up 47% since ’17

Though the two-hour event was civil, many audience members vented their displeasure with property taxes. Statistics from the state Department of Revenue show the property tax burden has fallen increasingly on homeowners and commercial property owners in recent years.

The trend was exacerbated after 2017. Since then, property tax payments have gone up 47% for owner-occupied homes and 36% for commercial property, while rising 3% for agricultural property.

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One factor in the trends was a change from market to productivity-based valuations for agricultural land. The implementation period for the change concluded in 2019, after the Legislature adopted it in 2009. At the time, lawmakers were concerned that surging prices for farm and ranch land were unfairly inflating tax valuations.

Another factor was the COVID-19 pandemic, when South Dakota experienced an influx of remote workers and other homebuyers fleeing pandemic restrictions in other states. According to research by the Dakota Institute, high demand for houses helped push the average list price in the state 36% higher from 2020 to 2023, even after accounting for inflation.

Because tax valuations for houses are tied to the market, some South Dakota homeowners have experienced several years of double-digit valuation increases. And those steep valuation increases have driven their property taxes higher.

Olstad said Gov. Noem’s focus on attracting new residents to the state has been a factor in that.

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“This probably doesn’t sound right, but I think we should ‘close the gate,’” Olstad said. “I’m not in favor of the governor inviting everybody.”

Other ideas for property tax relief

Raising the sales tax or tourism tax rate wasn’t the only idea floated during the forum. 

Multiple attendees encouraged Ladner to reintroduce a failed bill she sponsored during the last legislative session.

The bill would revert property valuations back to their 2020 levels for single-family, owner-occupied homes purchased before then. Excess taxes paid in the intervening years would not be refunded, but future tax increases would be capped at 3%.

One person suggested repealing some of the dozens of sales tax exemptions in state law and capturing the extra revenue for property tax relief. 

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Some sales tax exemptions are broad, such as the one for items purchased to be resold. Those include packaging for products and items that will become an ingredient or component of another product.

Other exemptions are narrow, such as an exemption for services performed by rodeo promoters, stock contractors, announcers, judges and clowns.

Rep. Derby encouraged greater participation in existing property tax relief programs, which he said are underutilized. Those include help for disabled veterans, senior citizens and people with paraplegia. Applications are available from county directors of equalization or county treasurers.

There was broad agreement at the forum among panelists and attendees that a failure to rein in property tax increases for homeowners could have negative economic consequences for the state.

Krogman, the real estate agent and lobbyist, cited examples of three properties in Brookings that he said experienced year-over-year tax valuation increases from $343,000 to $473,000, from $333,000 to $445,000, and from $322,000 to $432,000.     

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“I’m just afraid if we can’t figure something out, the opportunity of owning a house is going to become more and more difficult,” he said.

Matt Krogman, a Brookings real estate agent and lobbyist, speaks during a public forum April 20, 2024, at South Dakota Mines in Rapid City alongside state Rep. Trish Ladner, R-Hot Springs. (Seth Tupper/South Dakota Searchlight)
Matt Krogman, a Brookings real estate agent and lobbyist, speaks during a public forum April 20, 2024, at South Dakota Mines in Rapid City alongside state Rep. Trish Ladner, R-Hot Springs. (Seth Tupper/South Dakota Searchlight)

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South Dakota

Indiana State Police arrest South Dakota woman after vehicle pursuit

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Indiana State Police arrest South Dakota woman after vehicle pursuit


LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WISH) — Indiana State Police troopers on Friday arrested a South Dakota woman after a vehicle pursuit in Tippecanoe County.

Just after 11:30 p.m. Friday, the Tippecanoe County Sheriff’s Office received a 911 call reporting a possible reckless driver on State Road 26 eastbound toward Lafayette.

Troopers responded to the area and located a 2015 GMC Yukon matching the description provided. the driver was later identified as Dawn Goodroad, 38, of South Dakota. Troopers attempted to stop the GMC for a traffic violation on State Road 26 near Frontage Road. The GMC failed to stop and fled northbound on Interstate 65 from State Road 26.

Troopers continued the pursuit northbound on Interstate 65 until the 178-mile marker, where deputies from the Tippecanoe County Sheriff’s Office joined in. The GMC eventually came to a stop at the 179-mile marker. Goodroad was apprehended without incident.

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During the investigation, troopers were able to gather evidence leading to the belief that Goodroad was under the influence. Goodroad was later transported to the Tippecanoe County Jail.

Goodroad was preliminarily charged with resisting law enforcement with a vehicle and two counts of operating a vehicle while intoxicated.



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