Fees for some open records requests in Minnehaha County going up

The increase in the hourly rate will be closer to the true cost of compiling the information, officials said.


SIOUX FALLS — Fees are going up for many open records requests in Minnehaha County.

County commissioners unanimously approved the new rates on Tuesday, April 18. County Auditor Leah Anderson said there will continue to be no charge for requests that take under an hour to process.

For example, she said a common request for campaign finance reports often takes less than an hour and the only cost would be a minimal fee for a copy of the list if requested.

However, requests that take more than an hour by residents or businesses will be raised from $15 an hour to $40 an hour. Anderson said the cost is based on the average pay rate for attorneys or office staff who have to spend the time to gather and process the information.

“We are just trying to recoup some of the county’s expenses,” said Board Chairwoman Jean Benda.


Anderson added that even the new fees don’t cover the entire expenses and that the fees hadn’t been raised for several years.

In addition, fees are increasing for requests by businesses from the county property equalization office if the company will profit from the information. Some of those common requests are for delinquent property tax lists, detailed property parcel reports and tax lists for parcels of property.

Anderson said compiling the larger files of information can take a substantial amount of time.

The higher fees will cover the cost of staff and the technology used in gathering those business requests.

Anderson said she also wanted the public to know that they can go to the county auditor’s department website and look under open records requests. She said the JustFOIA software will process open records requests.

The website helps to track requests and make sure they are completed in a timely fashion.

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