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SDPB Radio Coverage of the South Dakota Legislature. See all coverage and find links to audio and video streams live from the Capitol at www.sdpb.org/statehouse

State Asked To Share Taxes For Roads

By Victoria Wicks
Some roads leading to wind farms are maintained by townships, and State Senator Shantelle Krebs says the state should chip in.
Krebs wants two and a half percent of the state’s share of wind farm taxes to go to affected townships to assist with road repairs. She says if the state doesn’t turn over some money, citizens might see a tax increase.
“If we don’t support the townships with proper road funding, what happens then is your township can opt out,” Krebs says. “Then you impose a tax increase on your citizens. And that’s what we’re trying to avoid here, because it has been done in Brookings County, where they’ve had to opt out in that township where that wind farm is located, and I received a letter from that taxpayer saying, ‘I now have to pay higher property taxes because I’ve had to opt out.’”
Opponents say road repairs should be funded by the drivers causing the damage, and that state dollars are tight.
Still, the bill garnered a two-thirds vote, required because it appropriates funds. Senate Bill 157 now goes to the House side for consideration.