Governor Kristi Noem has signed an AARP-backed bill that will allow more older, lower-income South Dakotans and people with disabilities to remain in their homes—where they want to be—without the heavy burden of skyrocketing property taxes.
The bill raises income limits and housing values for the state’s Assessment Freeze for the Elderly and Disabled Program, which keeps participants’ property taxes from going up. If the actual value of the home were to increase during the program, the homeowner would still pay the lower value. AARP South Dakota tested in support of the measure to state lawmakers, arguing that rising property taxes threaten to push low- and fixed-income residents out of their homes.
“Property taxes continue to be among the most financially burdensome for low-income seniors and people with disabilities to absorb,” says Erik Gaikowski, State Director at AARP South Dakota. Gaikowski says the bill, “is targeted to those South Dakotans in greatest need of help.”
The program is still limited to adults over 65 and people who have disabilities, however, the limit for eligible home values was boosted by more than 40%, to $300,000. And the program has expanded its support to $35,000 for people who live alone and $45,000 for multi-person households, up from $30,423 and $38,029, respectively.
The new income limits and housing values will take effect on April 1, 2023, eligible households are encouraged to apply.
For a summary of other bills AARP South Dakota championed this session, from funding for high-speed internet expansion to improvements to power of attorney laws, read our 2022 Legislative Wrap-Up.