But the rest of you made up for my cheapskatery: the Department of Revenue reports that tax collections at this year’s State Fair beat last year’s by 9.4%:
Tax collections at the 2017 South Dakota State Fair exceeded $191,000 according to figures released by the South Dakota Department of Revenue.
The latest numbers from the five-day fair in Huron, S.D., showed $191,149 in total tax collections–an increase compared to last year’s total of $174,652. The 2017 fair featured 433 temporary vendors, while 2016’s count was 427.
Of the tax collected, $99,610 was state sales tax, $32,969 was state tourism tax and $58,570 was Huron’s municipal sales tax [Department of Revenue, press release, 2017.09.18].
DOR says sales taxes are still coming in and estimates the final tally will be 5% over last year’s.
The State Fair generated about $38,000 in taxes per day over its five-day run. Over a ten-day run, this year’s Sturgis Motorcycle Rally generated $126,000 in taxes from vendors per day. The State Fair, obviously, draws a more fiscally conservative audience, mostly local folks who come for a day to look at pigs and tractors and think hard before spending $45 for Lynryd Skynyrd. The Rally draws thousands of multi-day vacationers who have already demonstrated their willingness to spend extravagantly by paying far more than necessary on a non-essential, seasonal mode of transportation that they haul all the way to Sturgis in a trailer. The Sturgis Rally also has a far greater market for its wares: customers nationwide brag up their Sturgis attendance with Rally t-shirts and patches, while I have yet to spot a regular Fair goer sporting a jacket (probably denim for the Fair, not leather) festooned with commemorative patches from each year she has attended…
…which, now that I think of it, actually sounds kind of cool. State Fair Commission! Think about the marketing possibilities!