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State Fair Tax Revenues Up Nearly 15% over Last Year

Hooray for corndog taxes! The state reports tax revenues at the State Fair were up this year:

Tax collections from the 2022 South Dakota State Fair are at $243,026.83 according to figures released by the South Dakota Department of Revenue.

…The latest figures from the five-day fair in Huron, S.D., show a significant increase from last year’s total of $211,651.05 and to 2020’s numbers of $107,925.73. Fairgoer spending on goods, services, and concessions totaled more than $2.8 million [South Dakota Department of Revenue, press release, 2022.09.21].

That 14.8% increase is the opposite of what we got from the Sturgis Rally, where tax receipts dipped 14% this year. Perhaps while we’ve lost the cachet of advertising the rally as a destination for out-of-staters who wanted to flaunt coronavirus restrictions, the South Dakotans who more sensibly cut back on travel during the pandemic in 2020 and 2021 felt more comfortable heading to Huron for their State Fair this year.


  1. All Mammal 2022-09-23 07:42

    Nobody loves SD like South Dakotans. Many outsiders just come for a cheap thrill and to pet the bison.

  2. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2022-09-24 06:47

    The State Fair differs significantly from the Sturgis Rally in its target market. I’ve never attended the Rally (I drove through it one evening but didn’t get out of my car), but the event is clearly designed and marketed to attract out-of-state visitors. The State Fair focuses on the home crowd, as it ought, given its core mission of serving as a sort of state tournament/festival for 4H and featuring South Dakota agriculture, and doesn’t draw nearly as many out-of-state visitors (many of whom have bigger, better fairs in their own states). I would thus contend that the two events provide useful comparisons of consumer sentiment between out-of-staters and South Dakotans.

  3. V 2022-09-25 07:36

    The rally does not target families whereby the state fair has something for everyone.

  4. All Mammal 2022-09-25 08:12

    Also, when South Dakotans are the targeted consumer, they are going to turn out and shell out. As if it were our duty to. And it is up to us to keep the state fair an attraction for decades to come. Whereas all the advertising and invitations for other activities like Custer and Sturgis are aimed outside the state. That’s probably why our governor attends those. She really doesn’t consider the folks at our state fair worthy and she can’t control the sort of people she might have to commingle with. Mr. Rhoden at least used it as a photo opportunity. It is mind blowing a state politician in the middle of a race for reelection didn’t kiss babies at the small town state fair, yet runs ads outside the state in which she’s seeking office in.

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