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Sturgis Rally Tax Revenues Dip 14% from 2021

Sturgis Rally traffic was down 4.4% from last year. Those fewer folks apparently spent even less per person than did last year’s riders and oglers—we’ve collected 14% less tax revenues from our 2022 Rally guests than we did last year:

South Dakota Department of Revenue, Twitter graphic, 2022.08.30.
South Dakota Department of Revenue, Twitter graphic, 2022.08.30.

The Department of Revenue’s tax collections at the 2022 Sturgis Motorcycle Rally are currently at $1,544,471.

The revenue sum from temporary vendors in the Black Hills was down 14 percent compared to 2021. The state sales tax accounted for the majority of the collections with $902,399. At this time last year, the department collected $1,038,561 in state sales tax. The department’s 2022 collections also include $290,586 in the state tourism tax and $351,485 in municipal taxes [South Dakota Department of Revenue, press release, 2022.08.30].

As the Department’s chart shows, That $1.54 million still beats the tax receipts from 2018, 2019, and 2020.

The state reports fewer entrepreneurs found Sturgis worth their while this year:

SD DOR, graphic on Rally vendors, 2022.08.30.
SD DOR, graphic on Rally vendors, 2022.08.30.

Temporary vendors attending the 2022 Sturgis Motorcycle Rally were also down 10% compared to 2021. The 2022 rally topped at 917 temporary vendors, while the 2021 event had 1,014 [DOR, 2022.08.30].

Local tax revenues declined throughout the Black Hills:

The Northern Black Hills, which includes Sturgis and all other communities in Meade and Lawrence counties, accumulated $1,163,261 in tax from the 734 vendors present, a 13% decrease from a year ago.

The Southern Black Hills, which includes Rapid City, Custer, Hill City, and Keystone, had 183 temporary vendors with $381,210 in total tax collected, decreasing 16% from 2021 [DOR, 2022.08.30].

Inflation likely saved the state from an even larger drop in revenues, as Rallygoers were paying more for provisions and souvenirs and thus paying more tax on each purchase than they did last year. But that means the 14% drop in revenues indicates an even larger drop in purchases and consumer interest.


  1. larry kurtz 2022-09-01 08:21

    Sturgis simply can’t kill enough bikers to cash flow yet Rapid City Regional, now Monument Health, cuts a fat hog every rally?Montana held first place in 2021 but South Dakota is again the most lucrative state to practice medicine thanks to its medical industry triopoly. How perfectly conservative!

  2. Nix 2022-09-01 09:51

    I wonder if the South Dakota State
    Fair in Huron would be an annual event
    if you guaranteed 4-5 teenagers died every year on the Tilt a Whirl.

  3. Anthony Renli 2022-09-01 13:04

    My big question –
    Who is surprised by the Rally shrinking?
    The entire Rally has been getting older and more expensive since I lived in the Black Hills in the early 90’s.
    Part of this is Harley’s are freaking expensive, so people who can afford them have been trending older for a long time.
    Part of this is the Rally has always been a blatant money grab where people rip off tourists and that has gotten nothing but worse. Which means the rally is more and more expensive, so the people coming need more disposable income. Which means to a large part people are older.
    So what you have is a bunch of “Born to be Mild” people in their 50’s and 60’s or older who come out. Drinking less, eating less, partying less and “Aging out” of going.
    And younger people don’t have a love or history with the Rally, because they didn’t go their in their 20’s or 30’s to turn it into a habit.

  4. P. Aitch 2022-09-01 18:33

    Sturgis is now a “bucket list” event and most riders have moved on to other tours.

  5. P. Aitch 2022-09-01 18:41

    Excuse my extremism, please. Let me say, “Many riders have moved on to different tours.” – thank you kindly

  6. Bonnie B Fairbank 2022-09-01 19:45

    I don’t care what your age is, what you’ve ridden, when you attended or the “concerts” you’ve seen. If you’ve been to Rally more than twice you’re a dullard.

  7. grudznick 2022-09-01 20:10

    Bah on the Rally and the fat slobs riding their noise machines.

  8. All Mammal 2022-09-01 21:19

    Slightly related is the powdery skeletron owner of Black Hills Harley doing a political campaign commercial for Anti Kristi. He also hosted an alt right get together with Marty Jackley some months back that was mentioned on Southern Poverty Law Center website for the hate group guest list. I believe he is in the same Rapid City business owners prosperity club the infamous Ms Uhre from the Grand Gateway is a member of. As of last Friday, Grand Gateway motel’s parking lot was quite crackin. Like an omelette. Not because they’re whiter than the fresh driven snow. Anyhow, it seems playing the ol racism card pays handsomely-if you are a white racist in SD.
    We have to keep the Kristi Noem fan club in check. They are certainly all about that power. White power. Boo

  9. bearcreekbat 2022-09-02 11:21

    Bonnie, I have been to the Sturgis Rally many, many more times than once. Also I believe that John Dale, Kurt Evans, and many other prominent politicians and outspoken individuals would totally agree that based on my writing here on DFP, and on Madville Times, and Mt. Blogmore that your conclusion is correct, namely, I am indeed a “dullard.”

  10. grudznick 2022-09-02 13:39

    Don’t let those who are weak-minded and foul-mouthed get you down, Mr. bat. I, for one, think you are a fine, sharp, fellow even if you frequent the Rally.

Comments are closed.