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State Fair Tax Collections up 9.4%

I went to the State Fair in Huron this year and all I got was good conversation and my free De Smet Farm Mutual yardstick.

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!


  1. Mr. Lansing 2017-09-21 07:35

    Marketing possibilities??? Do you know how many fine biker folks stop in CO on the way to Sturgis? Just for snacks, soda and other refreshments, of course.

  2. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2017-09-21 21:42

    I suppose we could boost the fair by adding hemp to the fine agricultural products showcased….

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