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Published February 29, 2012, 10:32 AM

Tax break for Groton elevator defeated

PIERRE — Legislation that would have helped a Brown County agriculture producer with his property taxes has been set aside, at least for this year.

By: Bob Mercer, Republic Capitol Bureau

PIERRE — Legislation that would have helped a Brown County agriculture producer with his property taxes has been set aside, at least for this year.

The purpose of House Bill 1078 was to create a special classification for grain elevators that are converted to farming purposes from their original uses for shipping and commercial storage.

House Bill 1078 was sponsored by Rep. Paul Dennert, D-Columbia. It would have set criteria for the elevators to be taxed as agriculture property rather than commercial property.

The House of Representatives passed it 46-23. But the Senate committee on appropriations saw the matter in a different light and killed the bill on a 7-2 vote Monday.

Dennert brought the legislation on behalf of Roger Rix, who is using an elevator at Groton as part of his operation.

Dennert disagreed with the state Revenue Department’s position that such elevators should be taxed as commercial.

He said that a structure used by “a true aggie” for agricultural purposes shouldn’t be taxed as commercial property.

Sen. Jim Putnam, R-Armour, supported Dennert’s effort and tried to get the bill endorsed by the committee. Putnam said that if the structure was on land abutting a farm it would be taxed as agricultural property.

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