Senate committee kills land reassessment tax bill

PIERRE, S.D. – A bill aimed to reassess certain land plats from agriculture to non-cropland will not be advancing in Pierre.

House Bill 1039, receiving much of its support from West River ranchers, would have allowed for areas of land classified as cropland to have the opportunity to be reassessed as grassland. Grassland carries a lower tax burden than cropland and some ranchers say they’re being taxed for land they’re unable to produce on.

Proponents and opponents for the bill spoke Wednesday morning in the Senate Taxation committee.

Proponents say they’re not asking for a tax break but for “fairness in taxation.” “We are being taxed unfairly, unjustly,” said James Halverson, Executive Director of the South Dakota Stockgrowers Association.

Opponents of the bill cite equal taxation for all and should the bill have advanced, they argue the tax burden would then shift to East River producers.

The bill was moved to the 41st day, essentially killing the legislation, by a vote of 6-1.

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