Interesting quirks in the South Dakota tax system:


South Dakota's nursing homes pay food tax. Hospitals don't.

South Dakota taxes food for humans, even babies. But not for horses.


Some purchases are taxed at 3%.
Most other purchases, including food, are taxed at or near 6%.

Check these current tax rates:
recreational vehicle 3%
vs.
tent 6% *
snowmobile 3%
vs.
sled 6%
yacht 3%
vs.
canoe 6%
motorcycle 3%
vs.
bicycle 6%
new car 3%
vs.
repairs to fix up old car 6%
motorboat, jet ski 3%
vs.
bathtub toys 6%
personal aircraft 4% or 0%
vs.
kite 6%
hot air balloon 4% or 0%
vs.
swing set 6%
Cadillac 3%
vs.
Groceries 6%
*The rates in this column varies by city with 6% most common.

No state in our region gives a tax break like this for the items listed on the left side of this chart. Our neighboring states apply their regular sales tax rates to these items.
And all of our neighboring states have zero tax on groceries.

It is interesting that many of the items taxed at 3% are recreational (left side of chart). Curiously, many other recreational activities fall on the 6% side of the chart: canoes, tents, bicycles, automobile repairs, cameras, computers, TVs, toys, guns, quilting supplies, riding lawn mowers, gas grills, musical instruments, zoo admission, art supplies, fitness clubs, quilting supplies, golf clubs, gardening supplies, cameras, newspapers & books, and most everything else.
Why is some people's recreation taxed at higher rates than other people's?


Certain purchases are taxed at 4%, not 6%:
Hot Air Balloons and Personal Aircraft are taxed at 4% the first time they are registered in South Dakota
Purchase of a used hot air balloon or personal aircraft is not taxed at all.
Once the [registration] fee has been paid it never needs to be paid again no matter how many times the aircraft is sold.
[source: South Dakota's website]

No state in our region gives a tax break on Hot Air Balloons and Personal Aircraft. Our neighboring states apply their regular sales tax rates to these items, used or not.


South Dakota's program of property tax relief completely misses all renters. This means the property tax that renters pay, as part of their rents, is at the highest rates. Many low-income families are renters, and the federal rent subsidy programs are extremely inadequate to help all who need assistance. all.
Among homeowners, property tax relief goes disproportionately to high-income South Dakotans.



8/25/04