Meade County won't reduce land values despite drought

STURGIS, S.D. (AP) A county commission in western South Dakota has decided not to reduce agriculture land values despite the continued drought.

The Black Hills Pioneer reports that the Meade County Commission recently voted against the assessment adjustment. The adjustment was proposed by the county's director of equalization to reduce agriculture land assessments by 26 percent to account for the drought.

The U.S. Drought Monitor recently listed nearly two-thirds of Meade County in the moderate drought category. The remaining third is listed as abnormally dry.

Some commissioners say the adjustment could set a bad precedent or shift the tax burden onto taxpayers that aren't affected.

Commission Chairman Galen Niederwerder was the only commissioner to vote for the proposal. Niederwerder says he believes the adjustment would've been justifiable because of the drought's severity.

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Information from: Black Hills Pioneer, http://www.bhpioneer.com

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