Rothsay Farmers See Property Taxes Skyrocket - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

Rothsay Farmers See Property Taxes Skyrocket

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 Farmers in Rothsay, Minnesota - who've had increases in their property taxes by 70, 90, 100 percent and more - are blowing the whistle.

Wilkin County officials say the school district needs the money to pay for  a new school being built there

"My taxes were going to go up 90.2 percent. When they did come out, they went up about 106 percent," says Rothsay Farmer Dean Sillerud.

Sillerud has 320 acres of land he's using to grow corn and soybeans outside of Rothsay this year. He did not wish to share with us exactly what the increase amounts to in dollars, but he says there are 160 Rothsay kids in the district and 100 from surrounding towns. When the school referendum came up last year, he voted against it.

"Doesn't seem right that I have to pick up the bill for educating other people's kids who will never spend a nickel in our town," he says.

We talked to some farmers who say they haven't been hit as badly by taxes and voted for the school to be built. They say this is a good thing for the community and the youth who live here.

The Wilkin County Auditor Wayne Bezenek says an average increase has been around 80 to 90 percent, but they have seen up to 700 percent. He's been hearing from those upset about the increase and those who own land in the area, but couldn't vote.

"They needed to levy, at least, I believe it was $1.2 million just to make the bond payment for 2014," says Bezenek.

So taxes had to go up and that $1.2 million was spread over 160-sections of land, Sillerud says. As for him, he says it's just too much. He's thinking about selling out.

"I've contemplated it real hard. In fact I mentioned it to a neighbor one day. I asked him if he was interested and right now he said he wasn't with the land taxes the way they were.

But the fight may not be over- some of Sillerud's neighbors say they may well take their case to the governor.

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