Understanding the Assessor's Role

Property Tax Portal

Frequently Asked Questions

What do you do?

The function of the Jerauld County Equalization Office is to annually value all real property in Jerauld County at it's full and true market value, except for agricultural land, which is valued on it's productivity value. This value is then used for taxation purposes but the Equalization Office is focused on fair and equal market valuation and not taxation. The Director of Equalization does not determine the property tax. The local governments and taxing districts will determine the property tax based upon budgetary needs. The Director of Equalization is responsible for assessing all property at market value to ensure that the property tax burden is equally spread across all taxable property in the county. We strive to accurately identify, list, assess and classify all taxable properties to achieve fairness and equity in values for the preparation of the annual assessment role in a timely manner. We also try to educate property owners of the appraisal process and their options to appeal, as well as learn of available assistance programs.
All property in South Dakota is assessed annually at its fair market value as defined in the South Dakota Codified law 10-6-1.3. The assessment date is November 1st. Property taxes applicable to this assessment will come due in the year following the assessment year. The Assessor is concerned with value, not taxes. The taxes you pay are proportionate to the value of your property compared to the total value of the taxing district in which your property is located.

What doesn't your assessor do?

The Assessor does not:
Calculate, tax
Collect tax
Choose tax rates
Set policy for the Board of Review

What extra duties do you have?

Owner-occupied applications
Elderly and disabled assessment freezes
Mobile home registrations
Renewable energy credit
TIF districts
Veteran's property tax relief programs
Tax moratoriums

Extra duties of the Equalization Office Staff include administering all state laws pertaining to the ad valorem property tax system, continuing to educate the public on the South Dakota tax system, determining tax exempt status for applicable properties, determining the taxable value of all parcels in Jerauld County, discovering, listing and valuing all real property within Jerauld County, linking real properties to their respective owners and placing assessed values and owners’ name on the assessment roles, mailing assessment notices by March 1st of each year, providing equalization between classes of property, working through the appeals process with review boards, issuing 911 Addresses, work with GIS mapping system and flooded lands.

Planning & Zoning

The Jerauld County Planning and Zoning is located in the Equalization Office. They are responsible for managing the physical growth of the unincorporated area of the County. The Zoning Administrator issues Building Permits and assists property owners with Conditional Use Permits, Variances and Rezoning in rural Jerauld County. They also assist with the county plats approval process.
The Planning Commission meets when needed and consist of one county commissioner and four county members appointed to five-year term. The Planning Commission reviews Conditional Use Permits, Variances, Rezoning and Plats. They may also investigate complaints and violations to help enforce the zoning regulations.

Building permits are required in Rural Jerauld County for the following:
1. Erecting a NEW structure or building
2. Moving a structure or building
3. Adding to a structure or building.
4. Changing the principle use of a structure or building.
5. Replacing an old structure or deck with a new one. Building permits may be purchased at the Jerauld County Equalization Office. A blueprint and estimated cost of the project shall be submitted at the time of application.
Pursuant to Ordinance #2019-4, a penalty of $200 will be imposed for starting construction before a building permit is purchased.

Building permits are NOT required for the following: Semi-Portable Agriculture Structure (example: Feed Bunks, Water Tanks, Calving Sheds, Portable Grain Storage Facility. Remodeling that does not increase the size of a structure. Fences and Signs. Planting of Trees and Shrubs. Private Wells, Stock Dams, Irrigation Facilities, Rural Water Service lines and Household Septic Systems provided they follow DENR Rules.

How do you become a Director of Equalization?

The Jerauld County Board of Commissioners appoints the Director of Equalization. The Director of Equalization and staff appraisers must be certified by the South Dakota Department of Revenue in order to assess real property for tax purposes. After initial certification, appraisers must be re-certified every five years. Requirements for re-certification include: Attending and passing the annual Department of Revenue sponsored school. Attending the South Dakota Association of Assessing Officers Conference. Attending workshops. Office administrators assist with maintaining all office records and also must attend necessary training sessions.

Permit Fee Schedule


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Filing a Plat


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Director - Christina Karsky

Deputy  &  Zoning Administrator- Julie Barber

[email protected]

Office Hours

Mon.- Friday
8 AM - 12 Noon
12:30-4:30 PM



Box 444
Wessington Springs SD