Sioux Falls, SD
Despite a lingering recession and a $40 million budget shortfall, South Dakota's Lieutenant Governor says the local economy is actually improving.
But are the signs as positive as some politicians would have you believe?
It was about midway through Thursday night's hour-long forum with the five GOP gubernatorial candidates
when Lieutenant Governor Dennis Daugaard said South Dakota's economy is beginning to rebound.
"Just today, we received news that the sales tax revenue is up for the month of April reported May as compared to a year ago," Daugaard said.
According to the Department of Revenue, South Dakota showed a 1.67 percent increase in sales tax revenue in April 2010, and a 5.89 percent increase in May. Small gains, but fairly significant when you compare these figures to last year.
It has been nearly a year since the state collected a positive return on sales tax revenue. After plunging to a negative 8 percent in September, sales tax receipts have been slowly rising in the state, topping out at nearly six percent on the positive side of the ledger in May of 2010.
South Dakota isn't alone, though. The Department of Revenue says several other states are also seeing positive sales tax revenues after months of negative returns.