Change In Determining Ag Land Valuation Triggers Public Information Meeting In Hot Springs


      A change by the state of South Dakota in classifying agricultural land that has increased valuations over 400% in some cases is the subject of an informational meeting today from 4-6:00 at the Mueller Center in Hot Springs. 

      Ag land in South Dakota is assessed on its productivity value. The state Revenue  Department’s Property Tax Division this year based that determination on a soil classification survey done decades ago.

     Fall River County ranchers discovered that the change meant their rangeland was now listed cropland. For most, the change to the more valuable cropland classification sent their property tax valuations up by 300% or more.

       Since each landowner’s property tax bill is determined by the taxing entity’s total valuation and its tax rate, a 300% increase in valuation doesn’t necessarily mean their taxes will go up that much, but it generally does. 

      Today’s meeting will have the Fall River County Commissioners, 8 members of the South Dakota legislature, and various experts on mapping and tax equalization on hand to provide information and answer questions. NOEM STAFF……JUNE 9

      South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem continues to have trouble hanging on to upper-level staffers.

        Policy Advisor and Federal Liaison Caroline Thorman and Policy Advisor and Director of Coalitions Julie Muldoon have both left in the last 3 weeks. Thorman had been in her post only since Oct, taking it when Noem’s daughter left.

       Muldoon is going into the private sector as Vice President of Public Affairs for the financial trade group Finseca while Thorman’s plans have not been revealed.

       Former Noem Chief of Staff and advisor Tony Venhuizen left in April when she appointed him to the Board of Regents while senior advisor Maggie Seidel left in March for Finseca. 

    Noem Communication Director Ian Fury says the plan is to hire successors to Thorman and Muldoon, but doesn’t give a timeline for it.