Lots of politicians and bureaucrats like to argue that a government’s budget is nothing like a family budget. They use that as an excuse for why Washington D.C. can continue to rack up record deficits and drive the national debt above $30 trillion. But in South Dakota, we think of our state’s budget exactly like a family budget – and the family who the money belongs to is the people of South Dakota.
We’ve built something truly special here. South Dakota has a AAA credit rating, a fully funded pension system, some of the lowest, fairest taxes in the country, and we have generated record surpluses for a couple years in a row. Because our economy is the strongest in America, we continue to shatter records for state revenues. And because of all the people and businesses moving here, we know that this growth can be sustained over the long term.
We achieved that by remembering who truly owns the money in the State Treasury – it’s the people of South Dakota. Taxpayer dollars belong to the taxpayers. It is our duty to spend that money responsibly and fairly; to live within our means; to save what we can and pay down debt; and to give back to the people wherever possible.
On Tuesday, December 6, I will be unveiling my budget for the upcoming fiscal year. As I promised, this budget will include a complete elimination of the state sales tax on groceries. That is how we can return some of our record revenues to the people – and we can afford it thanks to our record growth.
We will also continue to support South Dakota schools, public safety, and our healthcare obligations. This budget funds essential state services. My budget also includes targeted investments to combat inflation that is being driven by President Biden’s reckless spending out of Washington. It will focus on building stronger families in our state. And it will make key investments in both infrastructure and public safety to continue making our state safer and stronger.
I look forward to working with the legislature to pass and sign a budget that builds on South Dakota’s success over the last few years. As I have said in the past, the best is yet to come! By recognizing that our state dollars belong to the people and investing it wisely with that in mind, I know we can achieve it.