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Holiday Shopping Boosts SF Sales Tax

December 24, 2013, 5:54 PM by Ben Dunsmoor

Holiday Shopping Boosts SF Sales Tax
SIOUX FALLS, SD -

Sioux Falls will bring in nearly $50 million in sales tax this year and much of that revenue comes from the holiday shopping season which gives the city's bottom line a boost.

On Tuesday, last-minute shoppers at The Empire Mall were making important purchases to add to that total.

"Christmas Eve, yearly tradition we come out with my father-in-law shop for my mother-in-law and we go have lunch and he always buys some extra gift the kids get to pick out while we're shopping," shopper Eric Aasen said.

It doesn't matter when the shoppers buy their gifts, those purchases provide a crucial source of income for the city.

"Makes it much more feasible for the city to keep up with the growth that we're seeing with more people coming to town. That's just a bigger demand on city services for police and fire and libraries and street maintenance and parks," Sioux Falls Finance Director Tracy Turbak said.

The city has seen strong sales tax numbers all year. With revenues sitting at about eight percent more than last year, which is above the five percent growth that was projected.

Officials don't expect it to slow down during the holiday season. But the holiday sales don't necessarily affect the city's budget this year it actually sets the tone for city finances starting next year because the sales tax check from the state won't go out until January.

"So that's an important thing for us from our standpoint. The Christmas season sales most of those will show up in the city's revenues in January so it tells us pretty early in the year what kind of a year we're starting out with in terms of our sales tax revenue," Turbak said.

And whether it's on Black Friday or late in the season, every shopper counts.

"We like to shop in Sioux Falls. We travel from time to time to other places but it's good to support local stores and the retailers who are right here in town," Aasen said.

This year the sales tax revenue in January was the largest month of the year with Sioux Falls bringing in more than $4.8 million, which is about ten percent of the revenue for the entire year.

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