Climbing tax collections boost South Dakota’s budget outlook

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) – South Dakota officials hope climbing tax collections will allow higher spending in areas like state employee pay as lawmakers prepare to write the state budget.

Legislators will establish revenue targets Tuesday to guide spending this budget year and the next.

Gov. Dennis Daugaard in December laid out funding priorities that were constrained at the time by disappointing revenues. He proposed to keep most state workers’ pay flat for the second straight year.

But new figures show revenues for the first seven months of the current budget year are $18.2 million higher than Daugaard’s December projection.

Eric Ollila, executive director of the South Dakota State Employees Organization, says the group would like to see more consideration to raise pay and benefits for state workers.