Thirty public meetings have laid out the need for the YSD opt-out, and the consequences of not passing it. Opt-out proponents are looking out for the welfare and well-being of students, faculty and administration.

Indeed, these may be legitimate concerns, but what about the consequences that are not publicized.

What about the consequence of imposing more financial pressure on farmers? Two years of weather losses and related issues that have impacted the farm sector, with more flooding in store for this spring as well, raise serious questions about Ag viability. Farmer bankruptcies and suicides are on the rise nationally.

The imposition of more financial pressure on commercial operators will diminish their bottom line and ability to expand and employ more workers.

The 2017 median household income in Yankton County was $50,029, meaning half of households were significantly above that figure, and half were significantly below. At some point below the median, up to the very top, tax increases can be absorbed, in the short term for some; the long term for others, and not at all for those at the bottom.

What about the consequences of tax increases on elderly retirees with fixed, non-increasing incomes, who worked for modest wages; acquired modest homes for their remaining years — now faced with tax burdens that threaten their ability to remain independent in their homes.

Every opt-out issue be it city, county or school, brings the refrain: “It is only this much.” Compounding “only this much” enough times can add up to a crushing burden for folks struggling to balance essential needs with meager resources.

Those who are holding the reins of taxing authority, are well intentioned, but have tunnel vision, as evidenced by school board member Terry Crandall’s insensitive assessment of the opt-out: “We must do this in the interest of the people who matter the most; that’s our children.”

It is distressing that some — little able to endure the financial stress of increasing taxes — are of little importance, and can be cavalierly cast to the ash heap of collateral damage, as long as the objective is achieved.

(8) comments

Evie Sime

I truly feel for those who are on a fixed income or who struggle day-to-day with limited finances. In the interest of transparency and factual representation, I would simply like to address the statement above regarding Median Household Income. Contrary to the author's assertion that a median income means that, "half of households were significantly above that figure, and half were significantly below," median incomes fall along a standard Bell curve. That means that the majority of households actually come close to that median figure, while the numbers of households decrease as you move farther away from the median, in both the positive and negative directions.


Another connection is necessary. A median represents the middle value of a group of values. The values may offer may not be distributed evenly around the median. If there are two values, for example; 2 and 10. The median is 6.


Wrong, Evie. The median is the middle value in all of Yankton's income. It was described correctly by the original poster. You are describing the "mean". To the original poster, your comment was spot-on. This town's leadership has lost their understanding of the citizens. And regarding Terry's comment, he is ridiculous. All ages are important. So glad he didn't get elected into our state legislature.


Median income means just that half of the households have income below that figure and half above. It tells you nothing about the distribution of incomes. It may be bell shaped. It may not. If you want to characterize the distribution better, one might indicate what the variance about the median is or some other indication as to the "width" of the distribution about the median. Without this information, we can say nothing more than what I've already indicated.


The "magically"increased value of property plus the pool opt out increased mine over $200 this year. This opt out will be north of $200 again. Then the County wants an opt out for the roads. The city possibly wants one for a library, and another fee on the utility bill for a sewer plant. When does it end? Pretty soon people are going to be opt-outed and additional feed out of a home.


Perhaps it's time you cut some of the non-essential items out of your budget. If that's not possible perhaps you could pick up a second job in order to support your lavish lifestyle. Alternatively, you could move to another state that doesn't have such a high tax burden like South Dakota. Or, if the high taxes are exclusive to Yankton county you could move to Bon Homme or Davidson, or Minnehaha county. I feel like there are lots of options for you.


Thanks for assuming that me and others live lavishly. I have to live within a budget, like most other people. Yes, I would leave this stuck in the past backwater, if I didnt have things tieing me here. Only seven years to go.


But Dump says the economy is the best it's ever been and everybody is doing great! Are you suggesting that Dear Leader is lying???

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