In my last article I told you I had spoken to the Secretary Department of Revenue and that we were setting up a meeting in Pierre, South Dakota to hopefully brainstorm on what we could do next year on bringing a legislative bill for our property taxes.
I had asked a couple of other ladies to go with me to the meeting because of their knowledge. They sit on a committee who gather numbers and charts showing the rising property assessments and taxes.
Homeowners have been giving me their property assessments from all counties, this is not an isolated problem. I also want to say this isn’t a party line problem, this isn’t a partisan issue, and it is affecting everyone. We know that other legislators and senators are also working with county commissioners to come up with ideas. We all know we must do something, or our elderly will be taxed out of their homes and our young families won’t be able to purchase a home because property taxes are too high.
So, how did our meeting go? Well, we meet at 1pm on March 29th with Jim Terwilliger, he is thttps://www.lisagennaro.com he Secretary, Department of Revenue (he will be moving to a new position). The other person in the meeting was Michael Houdyshell, he will be the new Secretary Department of Revenue. The last person in the meeting was David Wiest, the Deputy Secretary.
The ladies who went with me were Lea Anne McWhorter and Monica McGowan. The reason I had asked Lea Anne to represent Custer County was because I knew she was very educated in this area. Lea Anne then asked Monica to go with us because she was also very educated on this topic.
I tell you; I was happy to have them along.
I started out telling the three gentlemen that the last two years of property tax assessments have been on the rise and the majority of assessments went up from 20-50%. I even know some consumers whose tax assessments have gone up 90%. This wasn’t due to improvements on their home’s, but because of people purchasing homes and land, way over market value. This is the main reason the assessments have gone up so much.
The gentlemen at the state were trying to tell us that the rise in assessments wouldn’t raise the consumers taxes much. I disagree, we know of people, (elderly} who are on fixed income, and they are paying $400 or more a month just on taxes. If this keeps going up every year, they will be taxed out of their home.
Mr. Terwilliger had tried telling us right away there was nothing they can do, he didn’t even want to talk about working together in the future on a bill that we could bring to the legislature next year that would be good for the county, state, and the consumer.
When I told him, “This is what I thought he would say, and how this meeting would go,” he stood up and said he only had a half hour to talk about this. I replied, “I knew we would not resolve the tax issue today, but I was hoping we could agree on working together in the future.”
The other two gentlemen were listening and showed concern.
When Lea Anne and Monica started showing them charts and numbers on what has been happening, I think it was at that moment, they realized that they knew what they were talking about. I felt at that point, we were being heard.
Mr. Terwilliger and Mr. Houdyshell did have another meeting to attend. I thanked them for taking the time to visit with us. I do feel that Mr. Houdyshell will look at a bill if we bring something forward.
David Wiest stayed and talked with us for almost two hours. He was very cordial and listened to everything we had to say. He also showed us their charts and let us know that they too, have certain numbers they need to give to schools and counties.
It was a good trip, and I am glad we had the opportunity to visit. I think they learned something, and I think we learned something.
They are planning on doing a work study this summer on property tax. Maybe we are moving in the right direction.
I want you to know, we not only represented Custer County, but we were also representing the other counties in the Black Hills. This is affecting, Pennington, Fall River, Meade, Lawrence, and other counties.
There are smart consumers, if any of you have suggestions, please reach out, email address is email@example.com. Prop 13 has been mentioned and I know a bill was brought this year that was similar, but it went to the 41st day.
As a candidate for The House, District 30, keeping our state and districts a place affordable to live, is important to me.
“We Stand Together, We Win Together”
Candidate, House District 30