A proposed fourth property tax classification passed the House Taxation committee on a 12-3 vote on Thursday.
House Bill 1086 would create a new tax levy for a school district’s general fund for leased property; removing it from the commercial levy. Agricultural and owner-occupied property classifications round out the four taxable levies.
The proposed reclassification would take effect in fiscal year 2016 and the levy would be set at $9.20 per thousand dollars.
Supporters of HB 1086 said the reclassification would not create a cost shift, would protect leased property owners against tax increase and would allow for new data collection to make decisions on housing.
Dan Siefken of the S.D. Multi-housing Association said South Dakota is one of just four states that taxes leased property in the same category as commercial property and creating a loss in revenue.
“Out-of-state money is shying away from (South Dakota) because of the classification,” Siefken testified.
Mike Houdyshell of the S.D. Department of Revenue testified in opposition of the bill, saying it was meant to “get property tax relief” for leased property owners.
“Leased residential property is a business,” Houdyshell said.
Rep. Jim Peterson said he was hesitant to vote in favor of the bill because future bills could be introduced in the future to lower the levy and at this time most property owners are feeling the pinch of property taxes.
“Property taxes in South Dakota are becoming a real burden,” Rep. Peterson said.
HB 1086 now heads to the House floor for debate. ASBSD is monitoring the bill.