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Brookings Offering Property Tax Reduction to Flooded Property Owners

Brookings County is offering tax breaks to folks who actually need it: flood victims!

Due to extensive flooding countywide, the Brookings County Director of Equalization office would like to encourage any property owner who has suffered property damage or loss due to flooding to contact our office immediately to request a physical review by one of our appraisal staff. Damage will be documented to determine the potential for a value reduction as of November 1, 2019, which is the legal assessment date for the 2020 (current) Assessment Year. Damage may include, but is not limited to: water in basements or crawlspaces, mold or mildew issues, damage to foundations, and interior or exterior finishes.

If there are any questions regarding this process, please give our office a call at (605)696-8220. Thank you for your time and cooperation [Jacob Brehmer, Brookings County Director of Equalization, press release, 2019.09.16].

Pay attention, all you farmers who have woken up to find your fields under new nonmeandering waters: maybe we can adopt that plan to reduce the tax levy on flooded farmland to zero.

2 Comments

  1. Jeff Barth 2019-09-17

    There is such a program statewide. There are some rules. The acres need to have been previously cultivated (no pastures) and it needs to be immersed for more than one year.

    Another concern is that when one property owner pays less everyone else pays more. If every valuation were reduced to one dollar, the tax collected would be the same.

  2. bearcreekbat 2019-09-18

    I thought adjusting the valuation of real estate based on actual changes in the value of that real estate was simply a statutory duty of the local country assessor. Although the assessor would typically not be expected to be aware of changes that reduced values until notified by the owner, once the assessor has actual knowledge of the change from any source I would think it becomes his duty to reassess the property without the need for the homeowner to apply for relief.

    The rules Jeff references then would guide the assessor in re-evaluating the property value, provided they are consistent with the statutes directing taxation on the actual value (with statutory adjustments of course – e.g. for qualified agriculture land).

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