South Dakota finishes fiscal year with $19 million surplus

Published: Jul. 16, 2020 at 2:21 PM CDT
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PIERRE, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - State officials say South Dakota finished the 2020 budget year with a $19.1 million surplus, despite a pandemic that encompassed roughly a quarter of the year.

Gov. Noem announced the surplus on Thursday.

The South Dakota budget year ends on June 30. Officials say although total revenue finished $7.9 million lower than adopted estimates, the state general fund budget ended with expenditures approximately $27.2 million lower than budgeted. The state spent $74.8 million in Coronavirus Relief Funds in fiscal year 2020.

“Despite the challenges with COVID-19, South Dakota remains in a strong financial position,” Noem said. “As many states closed their economies, I trusted South Dakotans to make the right decisions for themselves and their loved-ones. Our future remains bright because we kept our state open for business and we live within our means.”

Of the $27.2 million of 2020 general fund reversions, $23.9 million came from executive branch agencies, $1.8 million came from the Board of Regents, $0.9 million came from the Unified Judicial System, and $0.6 million came from the Legislature and constitutional offices. The unspent funds in fiscal year 2020 represent 1.6 percent of the total general fund budget.

Total general fund revenue for fiscal year 2020 was lower than legislative adopted estimates in February by $7.9 million, or 0.5 percent. Sales and use tax, which is the state’s largest revenue source, finished $11.8 million below estimates but still grew 4.6 percent over the prior fiscal year. A combination of all other sources of general fund revenue finished the fiscal year $3.9 million above legislative estimates.

By law, the fiscal year 2020 surplus of $19.1 million was transferred to the budget reserve fund. The state’s budget reserve fund now has a balance of $149.4 million, and the general revenue replacement fund has a balance of $44.0 million, for a total reserve of $193.4 million.

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