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Homeowners in mine collapse neighborhood appeal taxes

April 19, 2021 GMT

BLACK HAWK, S.D. (AP) — Homeowners whose houses were affected when the ground collapsed in a Black Hawk neighborhood and exposed an abandoned mine are appealing their property taxes.

Residents of more than a dozen homes in the Hideaway Hills neighborhood were forced to evacuate in April 2020 when the ground gave way. They can’t sell their homes. They can’t live in them either, creating a burden for families paying rent at another location.

Homeowner Stephany Fischer says her property value has gone down, but her mortgage payment has stayed the same.

”I hope that they do reduce our taxes to help with the financial burden. I feel as property owners we are responsible for our properties only this is beyond our control and I feel accountability should be taken,” Fischer said.

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Meade County is expected to take up the appeal later this month, KOTA-TV reported.

At least two lawsuits have been filed seeking compensation from the state of South Dakota. The plaintiffs say the state mined underneath the entire neighborhood up until 1993 but failed to reclaim or warn buyers about now-collapsing mine.

Lawyers for the plaintiffs say the mine is apparently larger than previously thought because homes and roads outside of the collapse are experiencing shifts in the ground and walls.