Brookings City Council may increase sales tax to save jobs at South Dakota State U., the city's top employer
KDLT TV News
May 5, 2011
A 10 percent cut in state funding means a loss of 90 positions and a handful of academic programs at South Dakota State University. But, one Brookings City Council member thinks his plan could save jobs at the university and the community's economy.
Last month, SDSU officials announced $3.8 million in budget cuts after a third year of reduced state funding--a hit Brookings City Council Member Mike McClemans says the community can't take.
"When you lose a job, you lose families, we lose money spent in the community," said McClemans.
He suggests adding a third penny in sales tax and using the revenue to help fill the university's funding gap.
"When you have sales tax money, you want to use it to your best advantage. You want to fill holes that you have," said McClemans.
"SDSU is our #1 employer, and that's where city officials started getting concerned with the cuts," said Mayor Tim Reed.
Reed says the city and SDSU already foster a solid relationship, partnering to build SDSU's Innovation Campus, Wellness Center, and other projects aimed at improving quality of life. But, this type of funding would be different, and that concerns some officials.