Only 479 millionaires in South Dakota!

That amazing fact arrives today courtesy of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee in a news release criticizing Republican U.S. Rep. Kristi Noem for her intent to vote for a one-year extension of the Bush tax cuts. The news release says there will be an average $160,000 tax break for the 479 millionaires among South Dakota’s 382,006 households. That’s only six to seven millionaires per county! So here’s the question: What would need to be done for South Dakota to have 10 times that many by 2020? (No, inviting cousins from North Dakota doesn’t count.)

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About Bob Mercer

I am a newspaper reporter in Pierre where I cover state government, issues and politics for the Aberdeen American News, the Black Hills Pioneer, the Mitchell Daily Republic, the Pierre Capital Journal, the Rapid City Journal, the Watertown Public Opinion and the Yankton Press & Dakotan. I began covering the Legislature in 1985 and have lived in Pierre since December 1986. I grew up in Wisconsin, worked my way through college, took my first full-time newspapers jobs in Wyoming, and have lived in South Dakota since the summer of 1984 when I moved to Aberdeen to join the American News. I worked for the Rapid City Journal as its state government reporter in Pierre from late 1992 through late 1998. I spent four years as press secretary and a senior aide to Gov. Bill Janklow during his fourth and final term from late 1998 through 2002. I returned to journalism in January 2003 as a self-employed reporter, providing state government coverage to the Mitchell, Watertown, Spearfish, Pierre and, depending on the year, Aberdeen newspapers. In 2008, the Aberdeen American News offered to hire me as full-time member of the AAN staff, with my reports continuing to be available to the Mitchell, Watertown, Spearfish, Pierre, Yankton and Rapid City papers. The new arrangement has been in effect since January 2009 as the seven papers continue their remarkable dedication to their readers and the general public, as the only South Dakota news outlets with a full-time reporter covering state government in Pierre throughout the year. In addition to focusing on the Legislature during the annual winter session and its various activities during the interim periods between sessions, I spend many days throughout the year -- traveling as often necessary -- to cover state government boards and commissions which oversee the state universities, technical institutes, outdoors, water, environment, business, public schools, banking, agriculture, utilities, health care and various other areas of public interest. I purposely don't register to vote because of my profession; the last time I recall voting in a presidential election was the first time, 1976, when I had just turned 18. I think I voted for Jimmy Carter over Gerald Ford. Make of that what you want, just don't make much of it.

4 thoughts on “Only 479 millionaires in South Dakota!

  1. Sandy

    I don’t mean to spin this one way or another, but do you have a source for that number? Also, how is “millionaire” defined: by total wealth or annual income? Finally, the tax year used matters quite a bit. If they used something like tax year 2008 or 2009 data (e.g. recession year data) it is probably not representative of the current year.

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