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Assessed value of Pennington County property climbs to $12.4 billion in 2020
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Assessed value of Pennington County property climbs to $12.4 billion in 2020

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The Pennington County Administration building on Jan. 29, 2021.

The assessed value of Pennington County property is $12.4 billion, an increase of almost $895 million from 2020.

About $232 million in new property was added to the tax roll for a 2% growth rate over last year. About $663 million came from reappraisal, which was a 5.7% increase over last year, although residential assessments increased more at 7.6% on average.

Property assessment notices will be mailed around March 1.

Equalization Director Shannon Rittberger said an increase in assessment doesn’t necessarily mean property owners will see the same increase in taxes. 

“The county commissioners, council and school board, all taxing entities, set their budgets, and if their budget is the exact same this year as it was last year and I raised the value of all property, the levy would have to go down to give them the same amount of tax money,” he said.

South Dakota law limits how much a taxing entity can increase its budget based on what was received last year. It can increase by the economic index factor of 3% or the consumer price index, or CPI, whichever is less.

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Rittberger said this the biggest increase in real estate values in his 13 years with the county.

The Equalization office handled 4,724 real estate ownership transfers last year, an increase of about 8%. The office estimates real estate values increased about 10% over last year, although local real estate professionals have indicated increases of 10% to 14%.

Rittberger said for the last 15 years, real estate values have increased from 2% to 6%.

“This is a big change,” he said. “It’s a good thing — our economy is growing, the real estate market is growing, but it’s not what people would consider an inflated bubble and...burst some day.”

If property owners disagree with the assessment, they can appeal to the city or municipality, or the county. However, a written notice of appeal would be due to the city by March 11. The city would review the appeal and act on it, if necessary. If someone lives outside of a municipality or a property owner doesn’t agree with the city’s decision, they can appeal to the county, which has a written notice of appeal deadline of April 6.

The Department of Equalization will make a recommendation to the board to change the value, if they believe their assessment is wrong, or to leave it alone if they believe they’re correct.

Property owners should contact the office to discuss the assessment by calling 605-394-2175 or email the office at doe@pennco.org. Further instructions about appealing assessments can be found on the back of notices.

— Contact Siandhara Bonnet at siandhara.bonnet@rapidcityjournal.com

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