Simplified: Voters in Lincoln County overwhelmingly voted down a plan to increase taxes for three years to fund road and bridge improvements.

Why it matters

  • The vote shows the people of Lincoln County – or, at least, the 3,300 of them who voted Tuesday – disagree with a decision made by the County Commission earlier this year.
  • The commission's decision would've raised taxes by 30 cents per $1,000 taxable valuation. That means the owner of a $300,000 home would pay $90 per year for three years.
  • That decision got enough signatures to refer it to a public vote, and the effort was enough to overturn the commission's decision and reject the tax increase.
  • Commissioner Tiffani Landeen said this is the third year the commission has talked about road improvements, and, without the funding, she said the county will continue to be "behind the eight ball."
"The voters have spoken, and I understand that," Landeen said. "But when the public comes in and wonders why their bridge isn't getting repaired, why their road isn't getting improved or repaired – this is the reason."

What was the election turnout?

About 8 percent of registered voters cast a ballot Tuesday, which was a total of 3,330 ballots.

  • 422 voted yes.
  • 2,906 voted no.

For context, there are more than 65,000 people living in Lincoln County, per the 2020 census. Of those, 41,578 are registered to vote.

What was the opposition?

Opposition efforts were led by the same group who led opposition to funding a new jail for the county last year.

Betty Otten, who led the effort to refer the tax increase to a public vote, told Sioux Falls Simplified last week her objections were with the tax itself, but also with the plans to use the money for roundabouts.

What happens next?

The ball is back in the County Commission's court.

It'll be up to the commission to decide what happens next when it comes to future plans for two proposed roundabouts at 271st Street and Cliff Avenue, and the other at 273rd Street and 472nd Avenue.