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Committee endorses expanded property tax exemptions for religious groups


The House Taxation Committee passed a bill making property acquired by religious groups automatically tax exempt for two years.

Under current law, religious groups must be actively using the land before they can file for tax exemptions.

House Bill 1255 was introduced by Rep. Tony Randolph of District 35.

“So, take a small church, they just raised their funds to buy the property and they have a building program plan. Well, the next stage is raising the funds for the project. Once they buy the property, now they have the burden of taxation as well, being taxed on the property until they improve that property,” said Randolph. “What this would do is give them the relief and allow them to not have the burden while continuing to fundraise.”

The committee sent the bill the House floor in an eight to two vote Tuesday.

Zadya Abbott (she/her/hers) is a senior at the University of South Dakota studying Media and Journalism with a minor in Women and Gender Sexuality Studies. She is native to the southeastern corner of South Dakota. Zadya regards the journalism profession as one of noble service meant to objectively provide the public with information of interest.