Rep. Ring: Road Bill Allows County with More Roads Less Extra Tax

Rep. Ray Ring (D-17/Vermillion) joined the yeas passing Senate Bill 1, the big road bill, today in Pierre. He says the road bill is the best thing to come out of the 2015 Session, but he notes SB 1 is far from an optimal solution. In this video, he notes that his district will be the poster child for the tax inequity created by the property tax SB 1 will allow counties to assess to fund road and bridge repairs:

According to a table distributed today at the Capitol, Clay County has a total taxable valuation of $964,936,470. It thus can assess up to $1.20 per thousand dollars of taxable value to put toward fixing roads and bridges. If you own a $100,000 house in Vermillion, the county can assess you an additional $120 per year.

Turner County has a total taxable valuation of $1,017,481,356, just 5% more than Clay. Yet, by breaking teh billion-dollar threshold in SB 1’s three-tiered assessment system, Turner County can only assess up to $0.90 per thousand dollars. If you own a $100,000 house in Parker, the county can only assess you an additional $90 a year, even though Turner County has 50% more rural roads.

As Rep. Ring points out, Senate Bill 1 has numerous flaws. But the prevailing wisdom in Pierre today was that voters sent legislators to do something about the roads. And our legislators have certainly done something.