Homeowners inquire about property tax spike

Published: Feb. 8, 2023 at 10:38 PM CST
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - If you thought your property tax was unusually high this year, you’re not alone. Homeowners are concerned with why the prices have spiked higher than usual and are asking what contributed to the difference.

According to the Minnehaha county equalizations office, the average increase of property taxes for 2022 was 18.8 percent. Many factors go into the final cost, but one Sioux Falls homeowner is questioning how the taxes spiked as high as they did.

Chris Erickson was surprised to see an increase over 25 percent higher than the previous year. He says that he’s paying almost one thousand dollars more in taxes this year.

“I’m a concerned citizen as so are a lot of my friends,” said Erickson. “The money coming into the city is greater now than ever before, so why this huge increase?”

Property taxes are the main contributor to county and school budgets. Budgets determine how high the tax levy is. Erickson points out that they levy is actually down from a year ago. This means that the tax increase is mostly due to how the property value is assessed.

“So the levys did go down, but the values offset that going up and unfortunately, some of those budgets went up more then because of that CPI index,” says Chris Lilla, Director of equalizations for Minnehaha County.

CPI, or consumer price index, measures prices paid by consumers over time. Lilla says that the CPI last year was “outrageous”. Other than the market, value is assessed with data.

“There’s only a couple of things that are really subjective in our world and that is when an improvement is constructed, what is the quality of that improvement and what is the condition of that improvement,” said Lilla. “Otherwise, everything else speaks for itself; it’s this big, it’s made of this material.”

Ultimately, it’s property owners that are left to deal with the significant changes.

“To me it’s just not acceptable in light of the fact that also people in this community are struggling,” said Erickson. “There’s thousands of people every week that are in line at the W.H. Lyons Fairgrounds trying to get free food. A lot of these people have to be homeowners as well. How are they managing?”\

2023 value assessments will be sent out within the coming weeks. Homeowners can appeal their value assessment, but must do so by March 15. Much of the legislation on property tax will go into effect July 1.