More on Amendment D from Bill Napoli

In today's Rapid City Journal, State Senator Bill Napoli provides more information on Amendment D, and explains why former State Senator Alan Aker was wrong to bash it. (for 3 weekly columns worth):
Amendment D is a result of two years of extensive research by some of the best tax minds in our state. Amendment D will roll assessments back to 2003, then move forward 3 percent per year until 2006. After Jan. 1, 2007, the purchase price of a piece of property becomes the new assessment.

Amendment D will not lower your taxes - it will just stop them from going through the roof. Amendment D will stabilize both assessments and taxes, causing them to grow slowly and predictably.

Aker tried to give you the impression that no property in South Dakota will ever sell again. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Read it all here at the Rapid City Journal.


Nicholas Nemec said…
My biggest problem with Amendment D is the long term effect. Here's an example of what might happen.

My Father-in-law bought Hyde County farm land in the 1930's and 1940's for $1-$10 an acre. Thats right, land was alot cheaper back then. My Father bought farmland in the 1960's for $40/acre. I bought land in the 1980's for $150/acre. The land each of us bought so long ago is now selling for $900-$1100/acre.

Had Amendment D been the law back then our tax valuations would have been frozen at the then current level, a level that several decades later looks, and is, ridiculously low. Someone buying now would
pay considerably more in taxes than an early buyer. But often someone who bought years ago is now financially secure, hell, they might even be rich. But they would pay a fraction of the taxes that a later buyer would, for instance a young farmer trying to get a start who just purchased his first piece of farmland.

Is it fair that the young struggling farmer has to pay so much more in taxes, on similar properties, than the old timer who might be one of the richest men in the county? I don't think it would be one bit fair but, that is what would happen years down the road.

For the sake of fairness similar properties should be taxed similarly.
Anonymous said…
nemec the nemo, If this is your biggest problem with D, than you have no problem at all because your perceived "long term effect" problem is simply fiction.

Yeah, land was cheap during the dust bowl years and slippery opportunists with a couple of bucks could take advantage of a struggling farmer, of any age, and pick up land for a buck. A buck that had a lot more purchasing power than it does today, by the way.

Things were very different then. Does your father-in-law still own the land he bought for a dollar? Does he still use a horse and plow to farm it? Has he made any improvements in the intervening 75 years. How old is your wife, anyway??

There is a link in the main body of this blog that will send you to the article in the RCJ by Senator Napoli. I strongly suggest you read it. Under D similar properties WILL be taxed similarly.
And when land near your $1100/acre land sells for $150.00 per square foot you won't have any problem. Isn't that fair?
Anonymous said…
Nemec just doesn't get it!! He should read the words of the amendment before running off at the mouth. If he can't understand the wording he should contact Sen. Napoli and he would be more than happy to explain it to him.
Nicholas Nemec said…
Anonymous number one:
"Nemec the Nemo", boy thats funny. The first time I heard that crack I kicked the slats out of my crib. Then you go on and attack my wife and Father-in-law. I don't know who you are, but I know you aren't Bill Napoli because he would have the guts to sign his name and wouldn't attack someone's wife.

I haven't made up my mind on this issue yet but you need to come up with some real arguments if you are going to win this election.

Yea, I read Napoli's article in the paper then I went to the S.T.O.P. web site and read all the info there and the actual language of the amendment. I still think the situation I described would happen. In fact Sen. Napoli says on his web site that the legislature would have to enact alot of laws to make this deal work. So right now it can be everything to everybody because there are no details.

One thing that bothers me on the S.T.O.P. website is the claim that valuations will not change if property is passed down to a family member. That means that in my example my wife would inherit her Father's artifically low valuation. Some land would never get revalued because it stays in the same family for generations.

You say that similar properties will be taxed similarly. I ask how can they if they have different valuations? Would each property have a different mill levy to get to a similar level of taxation? If so you haven't improved anything.

If the land near my $1100/acre land started selling for $150/square foot I would scream "THANK YOU JESUS" and start to sell that $6,534,000/acre land as fast as I could. That's the beauty of capitalism you can cash out at any time, take your profit or loss and walk away from the table.
Anonymous said…
nn, So sorry old chap, didn't know you were using your real name and no one is attacking your wife or her dad. It's clear that emotion rules your thought process rather than reason and you have no sense of humor.

I was simply poking fun at your "what if" scenario. It's just plain silly. I'm sure you think you're onto something, but you are not. It is an unfair and invalid statement. The fact is: amendment D WASN'T "around back then." If D rolled valuations back to 1930, instead of 2003, you might have a valid concern.

Yes, Senator Napoli trusts the legislature to deal, responsibly, with the issues that D will raise. (although, hopefully, past performance is no guarantee of future results.) One of which is the inheritance issue you brought up. With this measure in place, if your wife inherited her father’s land this year it would be with an assessment of what it was in 2003 plus a 3% assessment growth for 2004 and 2005. That would be her tax assessment. She would not "inherit her father’s artificially low valuation." If your concern for "the young struggling farmer" is genuine, you might want to think about this one a little more. No one, other than Ted Turner, goes out and buys land and equipment with the idea of getting into farming. The costs are prohibitive. No bank will loan on this kind of debt. Most all sales these days are producer to producer or lease to own. So it's just more fiction.

You say you have read what's available on D. That's a lot more the some have done. But I have to give you an F on comprehension.

It's clear that property taxes are not an issue for you. I would venture to guess they have even gone down for you the last few years. That's because you are being subsidized by the rest of us. I'm sure you and those like you do not want to give that up. Fact is, your just afraid of change and you don't give a flip for how it is for others.

The public wants a serious debate on the current system and the change D will bring. When people like Alan Aker and you make specious assertions that do nothing but cloud the issue it will treated with the seriousness it deserves.

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