Novstrup Supports Tax Increase for Farmers to Fund SDSU Animal Disease Lab

Al Novstrup clap clap
Yay, taxes!

Al Novstrup didn’t get the $39-million property tax increase he wanted, but he did vote to raise property tax on farmers.

Check out Senate Bill 35, the hotly contested school funding bill. The Legislature decreases property tax levies each year based on the increase in land values to prevent property taxes from increasing too quickly. According to Joint Appropriations, total agricultural land valuation for K-12 state aid rose 11.71%, while commercial land valuation rose 6.99% and residential land valuation rose 6.81%. Mathematically, the ag levy should decrease the most to offset having the highest valuation growth. But SB 35 decreases the ag levy by only 3.9% while decreasing the commercial and residential levies 8.5%.

SB 35 thus appears to shift the burden for funding K-12 education a little bit more to the shoulders of ag land owners.

But extra percentage points kept on the ag levy aren’t going to K-12. It’s going to SDSU. Check out Senate Bill 172, the bill authorizing construction of the State Animal Research and Diagnostic Laboratory. Along with an increase in the inspection fee on small-package pet food (good thing my dog eats the 50-pounders!), SB 172 diverts that extra ag levy to paying the new lab’s bonds and operations:

The state general fund savings obtained through the state aid to education formula from the difference between the school general fund levy for agriculture property for taxes payable in 2018 pursuant to §§ 13-13-71, 13-13-72, and 13-13-72.1 and the agriculture property levy adopted by legislative action for taxes payable in 2018, shall be directed to the state animal disease research and diagnostic laboratory bond redemption and operations fund. Pursuant to this section, the savings amount dedicated to the state animal disease research and diagnostic laboratory bond redemption and operations fund in fiscal year 2018 shall be one million six hundred fifteen thousand dollars. In fiscal year 2019 and each year thereafter, the savings amount dedicated from the general fund to the state animal disease research and diagnostic laboratory bond redemption and operations fund shall be three million three hundred fifty thousand dollars [2017 Senate Bill 172, conference committee version, approved by Senate and House 2017.03.09].

$1.615 million this coming fiscal year, $3.35 million next and ongoing. That’s how much more in property taxes farmers will pay thanks to Al Novstrup’s ayes on SB 35 and SB 172.


4 Responses to Novstrup Supports Tax Increase for Farmers to Fund SDSU Animal Disease Lab

  1. Holly Bottum

    Al Novstrup after four years of agriculture income decline you see fit to raise taxes again. Agriculture taxes are higher then residential and commercial for the schools. We believe in helping our schools so much that we have opted out twice to help them. It is time for residential and commercial taxes to be equaled to share in helping our schools. I am sure if your income was cut for four years straight you wouldn’t appreciate someone telling you to pay more.

  2. So much fodder this Al gives a feller to kick him out of the house of lords. All Al wants to do is protect sex deviants and tax the small farmer, while protecting special interests. I think several FB posts should be in order for someone who may want to take a run at him. Who knows, maybe a letter to the editor of his local paper.

  3. Someone needs to take a hard look at the cost to benefit of this new state lab. In my experience, limited though it may be, there was very little cost difference to send blood and tissue samples to NVSL, (National Veterinary Disease and Diagnostic Labratory in Ames, Iowa) for broad spectrum analysis than it was to send it to the SDSU lab. In addition, one almost always received a better and more explanatory result from the testing. Frankly, the State’s veterinary health system could use a thorough review and upgrade.

  4. John W., I can see that the advantage of Brookings lab over Ames washes out when we’re talking about shipping samples. Is there any regional advantage, within any sort of radius, for speed of service?