With the new Rapid City Walmart set to open its doors next month, business owners along a site previously considered for the big box chain are frustrated with their tax rates.
In 2005, rumors of a new Walmart store on Highway 16 caused a spike in commercial land sales, and many plots of land began selling at twice their assessed value, according to Pennington County tax assessors.
Now, much of that commercial land sits undeveloped and unsold, leaving business owners to question their high property assessments and tax rates.
County officials say, other improvements in the area are part of the reason.
"The state has widened Carton Boulevard, the city has put sewer and water in that area, all those have made differences. Walmart is located just to the east and that's gonna pull some traffic," said Shannon Rittberger, Pennington County Director of Equalization.
"Taxes keep going up, as property assessments in the last three or four years are now going down, they obviously can't reduce taxes fast enough to match up the prices with the sale of things,"said Herman Jones, owner of the Fort Hays Chuckwagon and Mount Rushmore Tours.
Commercial properties at the Catron Boulevard and Highway 16 intersection are currently selling for close to $7.00 a square foot, that's at least $2.00 above their assessed value.