Ag and Natural Resources Committee approves soil ratings bill

PIERRE, S.D. (KJJQ) – The House Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee unanimously approved a bill to conduct a study on the possible impact from changes to the way soils are rated for property tax purposes.

It’s yet another ripple from the change to production-based ag land assessments.

Representative Kirk Chaffee (Chay-fee) of Whitewood testified in favor. He says the state Department of Revenue and SDSU will take a look at the impact of soil ratings in a sampling of counties. He says assessors are reluctant to make changes based on the soil study.

The pilot study would be conducted in around a dozen counties around the state. Angela Ehlers is Executive Director of South Dakota’s Conservation Districts.

SDSU’s Dr. Matthew Elliott conducted the 2018 soil study.

No one testified against the bill but Matt McCaulley, lobbyist for the Corngrowers Association, says they need this information. He also cautions they may see tax shifts if the system is implemented.

The measure earlier cleared the Senate and now moves to the House floor.