PIERRE, S.D. — South Dakota burnished its reserves after closing the 2017 budget year with a surplus built on state spending reductions that offset lower-than-expected tax collections, Gov. Dennis Daugaard said Monday.
The state finished the budget year with roughly $8 million left over, marking South Dakota’s sixth straight year of surplus, the Republican governor said in a statement. The 2017 fiscal year ended June 30.
Daugaard said finishing the year with a surplus is a “major accomplishment.” He had asked state agencies this spring to cut spending by as much as $15 million in the face of weaker-than-anticipated revenues.
“State agencies responded, and all areas of state government were able to spend fewer tax dollars than appropriated to contribute to the budget surplus,” Daugaard said in the statement.
The state collected $7.6 million, or about 0.5 percent, less in revenue than estimates lawmakers adopted in February. But the state also spent $15.6 million — or about 1 percent — less than budgeted. That left about $8 million for budget reserves, which now total roughly $165 million.
The bulk of the spending reductions came from the Social Services and Human Services departments, according to state figures.
Ongoing general fund receipts totaled more than $1.5 billion. Sales tax collections, the biggest state revenue source, accounted for nearly 61 percent of general fund receipts in fiscal year 2017.
Bureau of Finance and Management Deputy Commissioner Jim Terwilliger, the state economist, said it’s good that sales tax receipts “perked up” a little bit in June. But looking forward, he said officials “don’t think there’s going to be a big windfall in 2018 by any means.”