Watertown’s Urban Renewal District Assessment Roll fails on 5-4 vote  (Audio)

September 9, 2020
Mike Tanner

WATERTOWN, S.D.—On a 5-4 vote Tuesday night, the Watertown City Council defeated the Urban Renewal District Assessment Roll.

It’s essentially an annual tax assessed to property owners in the downtown area, where a new two-million dollar park has been proposed.

There were arguments about the timing of the tax, in the midst of a pandemic and business closures, and the geographical boundaries for who would get taxed and who wouldn’t.

Councilman Michael Heuer voted “for” it….

Councilman Ried Holien was a “no” vote…

The vote was 5-4 against the tax assessment. Councilmen Albertsen, Buhler, Holien, Lalim and Redemske voted no.

The mayor was asked what now comes of the plans to build a new park…

The total amount that would have been assessed was just over $43,000. No single property owner would have been assessed more than $2,000.