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Survey: South Dakotans split on property tax rates, OK with sales tax, against income tax

Tax reform
Mark Lennihan
Photo of a blank federal income tax return.

A recent survey finds a significant portion of South Dakotans think property taxes are too high, while many think sales taxes are about right and most oppose a personal income tax.

Prior to the June 7 primary election, the South Dakota Retailers Association conducted a survey to gather public opinion about taxes from likely voters.

Nathan Sanderson, the director of the association, says that while some policymakers want tax policy changes, the poll shows existing tax policies align with what most citizens want.

Currently, the maximum sales tax rate in the state is 4.5 percent. Seventy-nine percent of respondents said that rate is about right.

Meanwhile, 67 percent of respondents said they strongly oppose a personal income tax. The state is one of nine that don’t levy the tax.

The poll found 49 percent of respondents think property taxes are too high.

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

The South Dakota Retailers Association represents more than 4,000 businesses.

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

Marissa Brunkhorst is a junior at the University of South Dakota. She is from Hutchinson, Minnesota and is based out of the Vermillion studio.