The South Dakota Republican Party is not getting its money's worth from its paid online propagandists. Republican Tide, the official state GOP blog, touts the fact that South Dakota has the lowest individual state tax burden in the nation (click image to enlarge):Now we don't have a state income tax, but a large part of that ranking may come from the fact that the working man doesn't have much wealth to tax in the first place. South Dakota also ranks 51st in the nation for wages1:
Break it down this way2: when a South Dakotan gets done paying Pierre, the average wages left in his pocket would be $28,373. His neighbor in Minnesota pays St. Paul and has $37,907 left.
Ah, but surely our low state taxes make us a better place to do business than those socialist republics on our borders, right? Well, according to the most recent rankings from Forbes.com:
...we're better than Wyoming, and we beat Montana, barely. Yay.
Side note: Forbes.com ranks our state regulatory climate 46th, worse than California's. So much for Governor Rounds's red carpet for business.
The South Dakota Republican Party continues to think that all they have to do to lure businesses to our state is chant "Low Taxes" over and over. But when our wages are the lowest in the nation, workers don't rush to move here. When we lack workers (see our low unemployment figures), businesses don't see opportunity for growth. Paying low taxes doesn't matter nearly as much as the opportunity to grow and make a tub of money that will help you afford whatever the taxes are (and enjoy better schools and roads to boot).
1. Sorry, 2006 wage figures were the most recent I could find, even from the U.S. Department of Labor. Readers, if you can find newer numbers, do submit them!
2. Yes, I'm mixing years. Again, I invite you to do better.
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