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South Dakota transfers $96.8 million surplus to reserves

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(The Center Square) – South Dakota ended fiscal year 2023 with a $96.8 million surplus for fiscal year 2023, despite a slight dip in the state’s largest revenue source.

Total revenue exceeded forecast by $17.1 million, according to a news release from Gov. Kristi Noem’s office. Sales and use tax collections were down $6.9 million. The taxes are the state’s largest revenue source.

South Dakota spent $79.7 million less than appropriated by lawmakers, according to budget officials.

“South Dakota state government continues to budget responsibly on both the revenue and spending sides of the equation,” said Jim Terwilliger, commissioner of the South Dakota Bureau of Finance and Management. “Our state’s economic metrics are very strong because we stick to our conservative budget principles. Going forward, we must keep following those principles. With so much uncertainty surrounding the national economy, conservative spending will ensure our long-term fiscal health.”

The surplus was transferred to the state reserves, as required by law. The state has nearly $336 million in its reserves, about 14.7% of the fiscal year 2024 budget, according to the governor’s office.

Noem said the surplus shows what the state is doing works. South Dakota is one of two states with a full-funded pension system, a claim backed by a May report from the Council of State Governments.

Unemployment in May was 1.9%, one of the lowest in the nation.

“South Dakota’s economy is continuing to thrive because we keep state government small, taxes are low, and we spend within our means,” Noem said. “As long as we continue to budget responsibly, families across the state will be able to keep more of their money in their pockets, and we will be able to avoid unnecessary debt by using this surplus for future prison construction costs.”

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