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Daugaardonomics Producing Lower Sales Tax Growth Than Roundsonomics

The South Dakota Retailers Association lists monthly sales tax revenue reports from January 2004 up to October 2014. According to those numbers, monthly sales tax receipts decreased over the corresponding month in the previous year in 5 out of 46 months of Dennis Daugaard's gubernatorial regime, or just under 11% of the time. Sales tax receipts shrank in 13 out of the 84 months listed for the Mike Rounds regime, over 15% of the time. Note that 10 out of those 13 shrinky months were in 2009, when the national recession caught up with South Dakota's economy.

But let's compare apples to apples with the available data. During the Rounds regime, from January 2004 to October 2006, the average year-over-year monthly sales tax growth was 6.51%. During the Daugaard regime, from January 2012 to October 2014, that growth has been 4.83%. In 24 out of 34 months in these comparable periods, sales tax receipts grew faster under Rounds than under Daugaard.

I invite Sunday economists of all stripes to pass this chilly winter day brewing up explanations for the underperformance of Daugaardonomics.


  1. GoJacksJC 2015.01.04

    Cory, when I looked at the reported monthly percentages, one thing that I noticed was that the Daugaardian Era had two months (May 2012 and Sept. 2014) of decreases/shrinkage (, and it appears Rounds never had any.

    I tried to delve into what contributed to those more recent losses, and the Sept. 2014 report ( suggests that a considerable loss percentage was realized in the "Pipelines, Except Natural Gas" major category (-1,597.5%). They report indicates that there was -4,427,341 in activity for that "Major Group" in Sept. 2014, so I am curious as to what that was. Regardless, a percent change of that magnitude inevitably skewed Daugaard's tax figures.

    For some reason, the May 2012 link merely redirects to the SDDOR site, so I could not peruse a similar monthly report for that timeframe.

  2. Deb Geelsdottir 2015.01.04

    It's -6° 8 St. Paul. (Just complaining aloud.)

  3. caheidelberger Post author | 2015.01.04

    Not unlike the minus signs I got comparing sales tax growth in 2006 to sales tax growth in 2014! (Quilt up, Deb! :-) )

  4. Deb Geelsdottir 2015.01.04

    I am Cory, I am!
    (-7° now)

  5. CLCJM 2015.01.04

    Not so good at the number crunching,math isn't my thing. But even I has to wonder what's causing this comparative decrease.Keep up the excellant investigative digging. This needs pursuing. Keep us informed, please, and thanks Cory for raising this issue.

  6. Francis Schaffer 2015.01.05

    Cory, better take a look at the sales tax receipts for December 2014 and January 2015, with the Section 179 accelerated depreciation reset to $500,000 for January 1, 2014 to December 31, 2014 purchasing activity increased at the end of the year in some sectors particularly ag. I believe sales tax receipts most accurately track commodity prices and IRS Section 179.

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