Individuals have the right ensure their property is being assessed at no more than market value, as well as assessed equitably in relationship to other properties. Land owners who have questions on the assessed value of their land are asked to first speak with the county director of equalization in the county where the property is located. If the land owner still disagrees with the total value of the property, they may submit an appeal to their local board of equalization. Land owners may appeal the following:
For more information, see the Appeal Process Guide for the Property Owner (PDF) or the Appeal Process Guide for Boards of Equalization (PDF).
Ag Land Classification
For land to be classified as agricultural, it must meet the following criteria:
- The primary and main use of the land must be devoted to agricultural pursuits, such as the harvesting of crops or the raising of livestock.
- The land must also meet either an acreage requirement or a minimum income.
To better understand the requirements, please review the ag land classification flowchart here.
Property Valuation for Agricultural Land Assessments
Beginning with the 2010 assessment year (taxes payable in 2011), agricultural land in South Dakota will be assessed based upon its productivity value. Pursuant to state law, the Department of Revenue contracts with the Department of Economics at South Dakota State University to produce the productivity value or “formula value” for the productivity valuation system. This formula value is the starting point for valuing all agricultural land in the state and is adjusted by the county Director of Equalization to ensure uniform and fair valuations as required by state law. The following resources provide a brief explanation of the system and the commodity prices used for the 2021 assessment year.
- Commodity Prices Assessment (PDF) The income data used to develop the formula value for each county can be found at the bottom of the Agriculture Tax page.
- Non-Crop Olympic Average Changes (PDF)
- Crop Olympic Average Changes (PDF)
- Agricultural Land Productivity Formula Tax Fact (PDF)
Agricultural Land Assessment Implementation and Oversight Advisory Task Force
The South Dakota legislature created the Agricultural Land Assessment Implementation and Oversight Advisory Task Force to provide guidance to the Department of Revenue on the implementation of the productivity system of assessing agricultural land. The Task Force holds meetings during the legislature’s interim calendar to review assessment information and make recommendations to the legislature for potential revisions to the productivity system.
For additional information about the Task Force, please visit the South Dakota Legislative Research Council to view agendas and minutes from prior meetings. You can also contact the Department of Revenue, Property and Special Taxes Division, for more information at (605) 773-3311.
Tax Increment Financing (TIF) Information
Tax Increment Financing is a means of financing public improvements in a defined geographic area, known as a tax increment financing district, or TIF district. In South Dakota, a TIF district can be created by either a municipality or county. TIF has become an increasingly popular tool for communities looking to upgrade existing infrastructure or as a means of incentivizing new investments in infrastructure for economic development. As of July 1, 2018, South Dakota state law authorizes four classifications for TIF districts: Local, Industrial, Economic Development, and Affordable Housing. TIF district classification is a function of the state-aid to education formula and determines how a given TIF district impacts school funding in South Dakota.
The Department has put together some guidelines for the creation, classification and annual certification of Tax Increment Financing and Tax Increment Districts. The Tax Increment Financing Annual Report (PDF) details project descriptions, valuation information, and timelines for each TIF district. For more information, please reference the following guidelines.
- TIF Guidelines (PDF)
- Tax Increment Financing (TIF) Tax Fact (PDF)
- Tax Increment Financing Pre-Submission Form (PDF)
- SDCL Chapter 11-9
South Dakota property owners with eligible riparian buffer strips have until October 15 to apply for a property tax incentive. Landowners may receive a reduction in property value of 50 percent of any eligible riparian buffer strip. The law specifies 575 lake listings and 11,000 miles of streams that are eligible. SDCL 10-6-116 To be eligible, applicants must meet the following requirements:
- Land must meet the criteria for agricultural classification for purposes of taxation
- Only land that adjoins qualified lakes and streams is eligible to be enrolled in the program. Maps of all qualified lakes and streams for every county may be accessed online.
- Effective July 1, 2018, a Board of County Commissioners, by resolution, may add qualifying lands not included in the link above.
- The land must consist of existing or planted perennial vegetation.
- The buffer strip has to be a minimum of 50 feet wide and can be a maximum of 120 feet wide. The measurement starts at the top of the bank or where the vegetation starts—whichever is closest to the water.
- The vegetation cannot be harvested or mowed before July 10, unless the riparian buffer strip is impacted by center pivot irrigation, then the perennial vegetation may not be harvested or mowed before June 25. A minimum of 4 inches of vegetation must be maintained at all times.
- The land may not be grazed from May through September.
Riparian Buffer Strip Classification Applications are submitted to the Director of Equalization in the county where the property is located.
The property tax discretionary formula is a tax incentive tool to help promote economic development in South Dakota. The discretionary formula gives a tax break on applicable new structures for up to five years. SDCL 10-6-137
- The formula can be implemented by a county by the passage of a resolution.
- A city may also implement a discretionary formula if the county does not already have one in established.
For more information on the discretionary formula, please refer to our Discretionary Formula Tax Fact (PDF).
County Road and Bridge Levy
Infrastructure is an important component of any community. Infrastructure powers businesses, connects workers to their jobs, creates opportunities and projects individuals from the unpredictable natural environment. In order to maintain infrastructure, it is important for all governing bodies to have designated funds available to make improvements, upgrades and replace deteriorating infrastructure. Counties may impose a county road and bridge levy. The maximum levy depends on the current total taxable valuation.
|Total Taxable Valuation||Maximum Levy|
|Less than 1 Billion||Up to $1.200 / thousand|
|1 Billion – 2 Billion||Up to $0.900 / thousand|
|More than 2 Billion||Up to $0.600 / thousand|
The levy is outside of the property tax limitations. The county board must pass a resolution with 2/3 vote of the body before July 15. The resolution must be published within 10 days and at least twice in legal newspaper(s). The levy can be referred by a petition of the voters.
What If Our County Was Already Levying for the County Highway and Bridge Reserve (Chbr) Fund?
- Existing CHBR levies will be grandfathered in, as long as they do not exceed the new levy limits
- If the Commission wants to increase the current levy, then
- They must pass a resolution setting the new County Road and Bridge levy, replacing what was previously known as CHBR; and
- The monies previously collected for CHBR will be absorbed back into County Consolidated
If We Pass Our Initial Resolution for the Max, Can We Change That for Subsequent Years?
- You can always lower your request from year to year. However, you can only increase your request by growth + CPI, as dictated in statute. Example:
- Resolution is passed with $.90 levy. This generates $100,000 in taxes
- Year 2: Commission decides they only need $80,000. This is allowable and no further action is needed
- Year 3: The fund is limited to 80,000 plus growth + CPI. They cannot jump back up to $100,000 without passing a new resolution.