Rapid City Common Council

Rapid City Property Taxes Increase By 1 Percent

Sep 7, 2017
Lee Strubinger / SDPB

The Rapid City Common Council is approving a property tax hike as a part of crafting this year’s budget.

According to city documents, the one percent rate hike will generate an additional $160,000 dollars for city coffers.

Meanwhile, the mayor is vetoing funding for a city program that coordinates seniors for volunteer opportunities.

Since 2011, anytime the city wants to raise property taxes it must be debated separately. According to officials, prior to then property taxes would increase with the Consumer Price Index rate of inflation.

The Rapid City Common Council, along with the mayor and an atheist organization from Wisconsin, are awaiting the outcome of a U.S. Supreme Court case called Town of Greece versus Galloway. The Freedom From Religion Foundation has threatened to sue Rapid City for its practice of offering primarily Christian prayers before council meetings. But the city officials and supporters say the tradition is strong and should prevail. In the last of a five-part series, SDPB’s Victoria Wicks talks with people on both sides of this debate.

Image by Jim Stevens, Rapid City artist

On Wednesday, November 6th, the United States Supreme Court is hearing arguments involving prayers or invocations at public meetings. This year the Rapid City Common Council has been threatened with a lawsuit for hosting predominantly Christian invocations before meetings. At issue is the First Amendment establishment clause that prohibits Congress, and by legal extension, governmental bodies, from establishing or promoting a particular religion.