STURGIS, S.D. – The Sturgis City Council has voted to annex the Jackpine Gypsies Race Track just off Interstate-90 between Exits 30 and 32, despite the opposition of the long-standing motorcycle club that owns the track and helped begin the annual Sturgis Rally.
The vote was 7-1.
The council action followed months of unsuccessful negotiations. City Manager Dan Ainslie calls the annexation a fair trade because the track has been receiving some city services without paying the city property taxes paid by other private properties in the Sturgis.
The Jackpine Gypsies have worried that they can’t afford the higher level of taxes and that city rules will force them to cancel the races and other events during the rally, but Ainslie says the city doesn’t want to control track operations or events.
An attorney representing club says it may file for 501-c-3 non-profit tax status and may try to gather enough signatures to force a public vote on the issue. They have 20 days from Monday to submit their signatures.