BROWN COUNTYSOUTH DAKOTA
General Information About Brown County
Copyright © 1999-2007.
Brown County, a political subdivision of the State of South Dakota, was officially established on the 20th of July, 1880. Brown County, located in the northeastern part of South Dakota, offers such attractions as the Dacotah Prairie Museum (featuring Indian Culture and Artifacts; Life on the Prairie), Centennial Village (creating a Pioneer Town atmosphere), Pari-Mutual Horse Racing (three weekends in May), Brown County Fair (largest County Fair in the region), Richmond Lake Youth Camp (Main Lodge, Dormitories, Camping beside a beautiful lake). Aberdeen, the third largest city in South Dakota, is the county seat and the center of commerce for the region.
To better serve the taxpayers and citizens of Brown County, this page was created to provide information about services available to county residents.
The Local Arm of the State ...
South Dakota is divided into sixty-six counties. Most of the current county boundaries were originally established in the middle and latter part of the nineteenth century, and some in the early part of the twentieth century. At one time, South Dakota consisted of many more counties than the present day sixty-six. But, as the mode of transportation improved in South Dakota it became easier to travel to the county seat and the population shifted. This allowed counties to consolidate services, and limit the number of county seats. The latest of these consolidations occurred in the late 1970's between Washabaugh and Jackson counties.
County governments in South Dakota are either organized or unorganized bodies for civil and political purposes, and are an artificial being created by law. County governments are quasi-municipal corporations and are considered public or state agencies for the performance of public or governmental functions. Therefore, counties are an agent of the state, but the state legislature is generally prohibited from enacting any private or special laws, which regulate county affairs.
However, county governments perform a variety of state mandated duties, including property assessments, road and bridge maintenance, police functions, poor relief, elections, and records maintenance.
County governments rely on several forms of revenue, but primarily fund services through the property tax. Although property taxes in South Dakota are part of a larger system of taxation that includes sales taxes, fuel taxes, motor vehicle licensing and a wide variety of special taxes, the property tax is considered the local tax. Property taxes are the primary source of dollars for schools systems, counties, municipalities and other local government units. Consequently, their administration is a local responsibility.