Radio update report 6:30pm (audio) 03-11-2010
Legislation that allows the Department of Revenue and Regulation to assess property taxes on agricultural land has been killed. House bill 1202 has created debate by state assessors and land owners. A law passed last year that changes the way property taxes are assessed on agricultural land. Instead of using market sale price it was changed to using an evaluation of land productivity. It was designed as an equitable way to tax agricultural land. Lawmakers intended the change be limited to a ten percent increase a year. Many land owners say property taxes have increased over seventy percent. Opponents argue that the productivity evaluation needs some adjustments. The measure went to a conference committee and then to the House floor where it then failed.
South Dakota lawmakers are working on budget details in the final days of the legislative session. House Minority Leader Bernie Hunhoff says it's his job to criticize the budget process so far. At a press conference Hunhoff says he's frustrated by lack of action.
The U.S. Senate has approved a measure that would give states more federal money for Medicaid. The Senate and the House still need to agree on the measure. The extra federal Medicaid money could give South Dakota approximately $30 million to help balance the budget.
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