In case you didn't notice...Open Forum is down.
Posted Tuesday, October 14, 2008
ASBSD's Open Forum blog is down - and has been down for several months - as we institute a redesign of ASBSD.org and the Open Forum blog. Thanks for your patience as we strive to improve our web site operations.
One note: the conversion will unfortunately have an impact on our archive. The categories must be re-coded for all our blog entries, and there's a few other details that we'll have to sure up.
Just in case anyone is wondering, though, we have not removed any content. In one case, we tried restoring the blog categories, and the system automatically updated the date of the orginal post. That post, which was dated Feburary 6, 2008, is still available, in it's entirety here
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Productivity measure, revenue caps pass committee
Posted Wednesday, October 1, 2008
Approval by the South Dakota Senate is all that stands in the way of a major overhaul of South Dakota's property tax system - a change that will eliminate the effect South Dakota's 150 percent rule but may hamper school district budgets.
The Senate Taxation Committee gave approval Wednesday to HB 1005, legislation that would assess agriculture property based on the land's production value.
Sen. Dave Knudson, R-Sioux Falls, told committee members that changing how South Dakota assesses agricultural land is the right thing to do.
"I think fairness is the overriding theme," Sen. Knudson said. "To treat different types of property differently is not at all inconsistent with fairness."
Supporters of the productivity model agued that taxing land based on its production value will protect South Dakota's agricultural industry. A number of lobbyists representing various ag producers support the legislation. .
Opponents of the legislation say the bill ignores some land value. Rep. Novstrup, R-Aberdeen, told committee members that if HB 1005 passes, more than $12 billion in actual land value will not be fully taxed.
Rep. Norvstrup is prime sponsor of another proposal to revise the property tax system that would use market-based approach to assess all classes of property. That measure died in the House, and supporters failed Wednesday to gather the support needed to reconsider the measure.
After passing HB 1005, the committee took testimony on HB 1006 - a companion piece of legislation that places revenue caps the revenue school districts can collect from capital outlay, special education and pension funds.
Sen. Dave Knudson told committee members the legislation provides a safe harbor for school districts that lose valuation in the process.
Dick Tiezsen, a lobbyist representing Associated School Boards of South Dakota, was the only opponent of the legislation. He told lawmakers that the 150 percent rule is bad policy and needs to be eliminated, but it shouldn't be at the expense of school districts.
"While we fix the problem - and we agree that its time to fix it - we're concerned about placing an artificial cap on revenues from [the capital outlay, special education and pension funds]," Tiezen said. "There is a legitimate concern out there, by school districts, that this will have negative implications."
Knudson acknowledged that he had been working with Tieszen on possible amendments, but urged committee members to pass the bill out of committee. Once it's on the floor, he said, amendments can be offered to address the situation.
Sen. Sandy Jerstad, D-Sioux Falls, offered cautious support for the bill in committee, saying that she didn't want school district budgets to suffer as a result of the change and that she trusted amendments would be offered on the floor.