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South Dakota landowners sue county for tax refund


Associated Press - June 14, 2018

ABERDEEN, S.D. (AP) — Some South Dakota property owners who have been overtaxed recently are suing a northern county to claim a larger refund than offered by commissioners.
A group of agriculture landowners filed a lawsuit against Brown County seeking refunds for the 18 percent they were overtaxed for their 2017 property taxes paid this year, Aberdeen American News reported .

The move comes after hundreds of landowners paid property taxes in protest when the state Revenue Department determined earlier this year the county was overvaluing land.
"At the end of last year we got a tax bill, and that tax bill was for 118 percent of what we actually owed," said Jim Hundstad, one of the six property owners suing the county.

Landowners met with county commissioners to negotiate how to settle the issue, he said. Brown County commissioners allotted more than $510,000 last month for the property owners who have overpaid taxes in 15 townships. The average refund per acre came out to $1.35.
"A lot of us thought, 'Wow, this is a slap in the face.' So we decided we'd get an attorney," Hundstad said.

The landowners are requesting a roughly $4 per acre refund amount, according to Hundstad.
"I would hope that the county would look at our request for 18 percent and see it as reasonable. We're not going after 2016, 2015 or 2014 taxes," he said. "We were abused for a long period of time. It seems like we're asking for something that's not off the charts."



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