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Posted on September 18, 2015 at 2:21 PM by Acacia Wytaske
Annual Ditch Levies
If you are a landowner of a property with ditch benefits, you've probably noticed that some years you have an assessment on your tax statement related to that ditch and some years you don't. That assessment is most likely an annual ditch levy.
Each ditch has its own separate account and ideally the Drainage Authority likes to maintain the balance in each account to equal approximately $8 per benefited acre ($8/benefited acre is a guideline to use - it does not apply to all ditches and depends on the size of the ditch). The balance is used throughout the year to make minor repairs, such as tile blowouts, ditch sloughing and intake/outlet repairs. The annual ditch levies are in addition to major repair assessments that are typically paid over a 10 to 15 year time period.
This time of year, the Ditch Advisory Committee meets to discuss the current ditch balances, repairs that took place during the current year, and projected repairs based on the history of each ditch. Then the committee makes a recommendation to the Drainage Authority for setting the annual levy amounts for the upcoming year.
Members of the Ditch Advisory Committee include:
Craig Austinson, Ditch Manager
Will Purvis, County Commissioner - District 4
Kip Bruender, County Commissioner - District 5
Mike Stalberger, Deputy Director/County Assessor
Bob Meyer, County Administrator
Myself, Casey Wytaske, Taxpayer Service Specialist - Drainage & Taxation
Here is what an annual levy looks like on your tax statement (I have blocked the location information for privacy). You can tell that it is an annual levy for County Ditch 89 because is says "1YR" in the detail. There is no interest on 1 year levies.
Here is what a larger repair assessment looks like on your tax statement (I have blocked the location information for privacy). You can tell that it is a 10 year levy for Joint Judicial Ditch 48 because is says "10YR" in the detail. It also has the payment broken down so you can see the principal amount and interest amount being paid with this year's taxes.
Here is what your tax statement will look like if you have an annual levy and a larger repair assessment (I have blocked the location information for privacy).
Hopefully this blog gives you some insight on how the annual levies work and why they are important for maintaining our ditch systems. As always, if you have any questions, please contact me. I'm here to help!
Casey Wytaske, Taxpayer Service Specialist - Drainage & Taxation