South Dakota Retailers release tax polling results

News ReleaseJune 15, 2022Business
South Dakota Retailers release tax polling results

PIERRE, SD – In the leadup to the June 7 primary election, the South Dakota Retailers Association commissioned a poll to gauge public perceptions of property taxes, income taxes, and the state’s 4.5 percent sales tax rate.

The poll, conducted by Public Opinion Strategies May 12-15, 2022, surveyed 300 likely primary voters, including 180 cell phone respondents. It has a margin of error of plus/minus 5.66 percent.

Voters overwhelmingly say that the current 4.5 percent sales tax rate is “about right,” but are split on property taxes. Opposition to implementing a personal income tax is high.

“South Dakota is often cited as one of the best-run states in the nation and our current tax system reflects that,” said Retailers Association Exec. Dir. Nathan Sanderson. “Policymakers sometimes talk about dramatic changes, but from the perspective of our citizens, our tax policy seems about right.”

When asked, “Do you think the South Dakota sales tax of four point five percent is too high, too low, or about right?,” 14 percent say too high, 5 percent too low, and 79 percent about right, with 2 percent unsure.

Large majorities of voters across partisan lines believe the 4.5 percent sales tax is about right. Base Republicans (83 percent), Soft Republicans (79 percent), Independents (77 percent), Soft Democrats (73 percent), and Base Democrats (76 percent) all say the current sales tax rate is about right.

Property taxes poll somewhat differently. When asked, “Do you think real estate property taxes in South Dakota are too high, too low, or about right?,” 49 percent say too high, 3 percent too low, and 41 percent about right, with 7 percent unsure. Black Hills voters (60 percent) and older voters (55 percent) are most likely to think property taxes are too high.

Little support exists for a personal income tax. When asked, “Would you favor or oppose South Dakota having a personal income tax?,” 6 percent strongly favor, 10 percent somewhat favor, 13 percent somewhat oppose, and 67 percent strongly oppose, with 4 percent unsure. Overall, 80 percent of South Dakotans polled oppose an income tax, while only 16 percent favor.

“South Dakotans enjoy one of the country’s lowest overall tax burdens,” Sanderson noted. “It’s pretty clear that South Dakota voters appreciate the state’s responsible approach to tax policy.”