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Jeff Mehlaff, Senior Fiscal Analyst, South Dakot Research Council
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Jeff Mehlaff, Senior Fiscal Analyst, South Dakot Research Council

State will end fiscal year with balanced budget despite COVID impact


Jerry Oster, WNAX - June 25, 2020

PIERRE, SD - The Joint Appropriations Committee of the South Dakota legislature got an update on state revenues at their meeting June 24.

Jeff Mehlhaff, senior fiscal analyst for the Legislative Research Council, says retail sales in April didn’t fall as far as anticipated. “In 2019 for April sales, we saw $934.9 million and in 2020 it was slightly higher at $937 million. This was a peak time for COVID and we would have expected retail sales to drop more than they did.”

Mehlhaff says they saw mixed results. “Overall, the state was positive in taxable sales.  But in each sector there were winners and losers.  Restaurants and bars were down over 42 percent, apparel and accessory stores were down 60 percent. On the flip-side, food stores were up 19 percent and building materials and landscaping were up 25 percent.”

Mehlhaff says only minor budget adjustments will be needed at the end of the current fiscal year. “What I can tell you is that the state will have a balanced budget at the end of the fiscal year.”

Overall retail trade taxes were up two tenths of a percent in April while taxes on services were down about 13 percent.



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