The “T” Word: a look at your Pennington County property tax

NewsCenter1's Darsha Nelson sat down with Pennington County Equalization Director Shannon Rittberger to see how taxes are assessed and what might cause them to go up

RAPID CITY, S.D. — You may have gotten a property tax bill in the mail recently and been surprised by what you saw, but Pennington County officials want to explain just how those numbers are determined.

The property tax bill you receive in January is based on the taxable value of your property, set by the Equalization Office, and the assessed value is what you receive in March on your assessment notice.

That taxable value is about 85% of the assessed value, which can change based on appreciation or depreciation of property and market fluctuations.

Shannon Rittberger, director of equalization for Pennington County, says, “We’ve seen a huge increase in our market, but the budgets of those taxing entities are capped by a 3% increase or less; so when our market goes up, much more than 3%, taxes won’t increase by the same amount the market does.”

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The Pennington County Equalization Office, located in the County Administration Building on Kansas City Street in Rapid City

Property tax is the primary source of funding for local governments,  while the State of South Dakota neither collects nor spends property tax money.

The goal of the Equalization Office is accurate assessments – not a blanket increase on all properties.

“I am most concerned about your property worth…what we have it assessed,” Rittberger adds. “We’ll do whatever we can to look and see if we’ve got something wrong. But as far as the tax, we don’t set the tax.”

Assessment notices will be mailed to homeowners in March. An appeal process is available once those new assessments are available for anyone who disagrees with the appraisers valuation.

Equalization will provide more information on this process as we get closer to March.

Categories: Local News, Politics & Elections