Janet Schmahl

Sully County Commissioners meeting in special session on Friday, August 7, hired by a 3-2 vote Planning and Zoning Administrator Janet Schmahl to serve the county as Director of Equalization (DOE), with Commissioners Floyd, Richards and Yackley voting in favor and Commissioners Olivier and Fanger voting against. The move combines the Planning and Zoning/GIS and DOE offices. Schmahl will receive an annual salary of $77,000 for the combined position, and the combined offices will be open from 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. daily, including over the noon hour.

The county Director of Equalization is responsible for confirming that all property in the county is accounted for on the tax list. They are also responsible to guarantee these properties are all assessed in an equal and uniform manner. Only when the assessments of the property are fair and equal can the tax burden be distributed fair and equal.

Among Schmahl’s DOE duties are assessing real property for its full and true value, equalizing values between classes of property, deciding on adjustments to property values, reviewing property abatements, administering state laws pertaining to ad valorem property tax assessments, providing for the review and appeal of assessments, and deciding on tax exemptions and tracking each exemption.

Commissioners had hoped to delay the county-wide reassessment until the new DOE was fully trained, but determined to go ahead with the reassessment upon learning it would be four years before the reappraisal could be rescheduled. According to the South Dakota Department of Revenue, reassessments are usually conducted every 5-7 years, depending on the county.

A representative of Vanguard Appraisals of Cedar Rapids, IA will conduct the reassessment, arriving in Sully County October 1. The Vanguard representative will live in the area for the year it will take to conduct the reassessment. The county can expect to receive the results of the reassessment in January 2022.