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Noem opposes bill that would provide property tax relief to ranchers

Charles Michael Ray

Governor Kristi Noem says she does not support a bill that would change the tax status of certain agricultural land above 1,950 feet in elevation.

The bill states grassland above that elevation that’s remained grassland or been planted with perennial vegetation for two decades will be considered non-crop land.

A fiscal note states the bill would reduce taxes levied on non-cropland by about $12 million.

Noem says the bill gives relief to ranchers, but would raise taxes on others.

“Somebody is picking up the bill for that, and it’s going to be all the other ag producers, homeowners and commercial property owners," Noem said.

Noem says ranchers already have the ability to contest property tax designations on their land.

Supporters of the bill say some West River ranchers' taxes went up when ag land tax assessments were switched from production-based to a method based on soil types. The bill is now in the Senate.

Lee Strubinger is SDPB’s Rapid City-based news and political reporter. A former reporter for Fort Lupton Press (CO) and Colorado Public Radio, Lee holds a master’s in public affairs reporting from the University of Illinois-Springfield.