A massive drop of $73 million in property valuations forced commissioners to raise the tax levy by 1.6 cents.
County commission chairman Terry Pinkelman says the valuation drop was surprising.
“We didn’t think it’d be quite that much, based on farmland values and that sort of stuff,” Pinkelman says, but he notes, the county only gets a small piece of the budget pie.
“Of the total budget, the county probably uses less than 20% of the amount that’s budgeted,” he says. “Schools take about 75% of it.”
Pinkelman says when he hears complaints about high property taxes, he points to the source, as he sees it.
“There isn’t much you can say about it,” Pinkelman says. “If you get two farmers arguing about it, you can tell them, ‘You’re the ones that caused the problem because you paid that kind of dollars for that piece of land that you wanted or you didn’t want to let your neighbor have it.'”
Pinkelman says the county is also seeing rapidly rising costs for road gravel.
By Jerry Oster, WNAX, Yankton