Correction: An earlier version of this story misstated the increase in Minnehaha County. The average increase county-wide was 18.3 percent.

Simplified: Market property values went up in the last year, which means assessed values are going up, too. Here's what it means for you (and your tax bill).

Why it matters

  • Minnehaha County saw a $2.85 billion increase in assessed value in the past year, Director of Equalization Chris Lilla told county commissioners Tuesday. That's more than the total assessed value in some South Dakota counties, he said.
  • The county equalization department doesn't have any say over what taxes you pay, but the values they set are used to determine what property taxes you owe cities, counties and schools.
  • Property owners can appeal assessed values, but as Minnehaha County faces some staffing shortages in the equalization department, Lilla asks people to consider one thing before calling their assessment into question: If you sold your house today, would it sell for the assessed value?  
"If the answer is yes, please don't call us," Lilla said. "We're going to be busy."

What's the scope of the increase?

In past years, the average increase in assessed value was between 3 or 4 percent in Minnehaha County, Lilla told commissioners. This year, the average increase is 18.3 percent.

The rate of increase is even higher in Lincoln County, which saw assessed values go up 19 to 21 percent on average, Director of Equalization Karla Goossen said.

Both Lincoln and Minnehaha County also updated their cost tables, which are massive data sets that help determine pricing.

  • For example, Lilla said, if bricks in the cost table went up 20%, and you have bricks in your home, your property value is going up.

Why are values increasing?

Assessed values are dependent on a combination of factors from size to year built to location to what other similar homes in the neighborhood have sold for, i.e. market value.

Because homes are selling at rapidly increasing prices while construction costs are also rising, the trend across the board is upward.

What happens next?

By March 1, the counties have to send out your assessed value information. Watch for that in the mail next week.

If you want to appeal, you have until April 5 to file with the county, which in turn has another month to get back to you with a final decision.